A Black man charged with assault despite being brutally beaten during last summer’s deadly clash between White supremacists and counterprotesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, was acquitted Friday.
DeAndre Harris, 20, opted not to address the crowd after the verdict for the misdemeanor charge, his attorney Rhonda Quagliana told reporters her client was grateful for the community’s support.
Harris faced up to one year in jail and a $2,500 fine had he been convicted.
Video and images of Harris’ bloodied head went viral Aug. 12 after he was brutally beaten by a mob of White supremacists at the “Unite the Right” rally, where a young woman was killed.
Harris was beaten in a parking garage with a metal pipe and wooden boards. He sustained a broken wrist and required 10 stitches to close the head gash.
Just before the attack, Harris had intervened in a scuffle that ensued when a friend tried to yank a Confederate flag from one of the marchers. The marcher eventually led the Charlottesville Police Department to issue a warrant for Harris’ arrest.
Jason Kessler, organizer of the supremacists’ “Unite the Right” rally, quickly denounced the “kangaroo court” verdict on Twitter.