Published: Sat, March 17, 2018

Black man severely beaten at Charlottesville rally cleared of assault

Black man severely beaten at Charlottesville rally cleared of assault

If convicted, Harris could have faced one year in jail and a $2,500 fine.

The acquittal is a relief for Harris, who was viciously beaten inside a parking garage next to the city's police department on August 12, 2017. Mr. Harris suffered a head wound and a broken wrist.

Harris's attorney, Lee Merritt, called the charges "clearly retaliatory" after a warrant went out for his client's arrest on felony assault charges in October.

Before issuing his ruling, Downer warned the crowd to "restrain" their emotions.

Shortly after the rally, Crews convinced a magistrate to file charges against Harris, who swung a flashlight at him while under the impression the white nationalist lawyer was assaulting his friend with a flagpole.

Black Lives Matter-Charlottesville, Congregate Charlottesville and Showing Up for Racial Justice-Charlottesville are among the activist groups that have been calling the charges against Harris to be dropped. Their trials are scheduled for late April and early May, though Davis's trial has not been set yet. Harris testified that he swung the flashlight, but it was an attempt to block the flag... not hit anyone. Moments later, Mr Harris was severely beaten.

Video of Harris' beating tore through the Internet.

During the clashes, 32-year-old counter-protester Heather Heyer was killed when a white nationalist driver ploughed a vehicle into a crowd.

Violent clashes erupted at the white nationalist rally to protest the removal of a Confederate statue.

An independent review commissioned by the city found in December the police department and city officials were ill-prepared for the white nationalist rally.

Charlottesville General District Court Judge Robert Downer Jr , according to Charlottesville's The Daily Progress. He was "defenseless against a mob of angry Alt-Right demonstrators" who mauled him with flagsticks, shields and pieces of wood, the report said. Then he said someone sprayed him with mace and "everything was a blur after that", the newspaper reported. More than 100 people gathered to offer Harris support both inside and outside the courtroom.

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