Man beaten at Charlottesville rally found not guilty of assault

By  | 

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WCAV) — Deandre Harris has been found not guilty of assault. The verdict was reached Friday afternoon in Charlottesville General District Court.

In this Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017 photo, DeAndre Harris, bottom is assaulted in a parking garage beside the Charlottesville police station after a white nationalist rally was disbursed by police, in Charlottesville, Va. (Zach D. Roberts via AP)

Harris was accused of hitting someone following the "Unite the Right" rally on Aug. 12.

Cell phone video later showed Harris being beaten by a group of alleged white nationalists in the Market Street Parking Garage. He was seen bloodied in viral photos and needed several stitches following the beating.

He was left with a concussion, abrasions and contusions across his body, as well as a head laceration that required staples, a knee injury and a fractured wrist after the clash.

He surrendered to police in the days following the announcement of his charges.

Activist groups, including Black Lives Matter-Charlottesville, Congregate Charlottesville, and Showing Up for Racial Justice-Charlottesville, have been calling for the charges against Harris to be dropped.

The judge of the case determined that Harris had not intended to harm Harold Crews, the alleged victim of his assault.

After the verdict was announced, they released a statement saying, in part: "DeAndre Harris' acquittal today shows he never should have been charged with a crime in the first place ... We were further outraged when DeAndre was charged with a crime based on the testimony of the same white supremacists who attacked him."

Several other men were charged with malicious wounding in the attack against Harris, including Alex Ramos and Jacob Goodwin.

Attorneys for Ramos and Goodwin argued that neither man was acting with malice in the fight, but they were acting in self-defense.

However, a judge previously said, "There's no question that they were all acting to do Mr. Harris harm."

At the rally, Heather Heyer was killed when a car struck a crowd of counter protesters. James Alex Fields is charged with causing her death.

This is a developing story. We will pass along more information about the trial as it becomes available.