DeAndre Harris, a young Black man, 20 years old, was brutally beaten by six white supremacists during the Charlottesville attacks in August. He is now being charged with felony charges of “unlawful wounding” by an accuser who Charlottesville police have yet to identify. The accuser, who is believed to be a member of a white supremacist group, is using this charge as a form of retaliation against DeAndre Harris.
The white supremacist rally held in Charlottesville, Virginia in August is another painful and ugly stain in the U.S. It is a constant reminder that white violence and the vicious attacks on Black folks are seen as a common practice with no accountability. With a White House led by Trump and Sessions who promote and push an agenda that criminalizes and silences Black communities and communities of color, it’s no surprise right-wing, white supremacists are emboldened to act violently. When Trump referred to the attacks in Charlottesville, he said “there is blame on both sides”. By pressing charges against DeAndre Harris, the Commonwealth’s Attorney is both agreeing with and supporting Trump’s racist statements. The Commonwealth’s Attorney is choosing to blame and press charges against people on “both sides”. However, there is only one side that is guilty here– and that’s the white supremacists and klansmen who were in Charlottesville holding tiki torches, chanting racist antics, and running cars into crowds of people.
The accuser is saying that Harris instigated the fight. However, video footage clearly shows differently. Harris was actually attacked after police dispersed the August 12th white nationalist rally. Our communities deserve justice. The criminal justice system continues to lock up and kill Black people at alarming rates without impunity. Virginia Commonwealth Attorney Warner D. Chapman must do the right thing and drop the charges. As the chief law enforcement officer, it is vital that he uses his leadership to heal communities inflicted by this violence in Charlottesville.
This morning, DeAndre turned himself in to the Charlottesville Police Department and was released. This means that we still have time to get his charges dropped, we need your support now to make sure all charges are dropped before a court date is scheduled.
We all need to stand up together in order to get these charges dropped immediately.
Until justice is real,
Rashad, Arisha, Scott, Kristen, Clarise, Anay, Enchanta, Malaya,Katrese, and the rest of the Color Of Change team