A man who rammed his truck into a crowd of peaceful protesters in Virginia on Sunday, injuring one person, is a Ku Klux Klan leader, authorities said Monday.
Harry Rogers, 36, is "an admitted leader of the Ku Klux Klan and a propagandist for Confederate ideology," said Henrico Commonwealth's Attorney Shannon Taylor in a statement.
In a statement, Taylor said Rogers had been "driving recklessly down Lakeside Avenue on the median, drove up to the protestors, revved the engine, and drove into the protestors."
Rogers appeared in Henrico Court Monday to face charges of assault and battery, attempted malicious wounding, and felony vandalism.
Taylor said her office is investigating possible hate crime charges.
Rogers is also known as Skip Rogers, Taylor told BuzzFeed News. A man by that name, who appears to resemble Harry Rogers, can be seen wearing KKK robes and carrying a Confederate flag outside a World War II memorial in photos published in a 2016 article by Progress-Index.
Driving into crowds of protesters has been a known tactic used to endanger those marching in the streets — such as the 2017 fatal attack in Charlottesville — and a reoccurring issue during the recent Black Lives Matter protests against police brutality.
One week ago, BuzzFeed News reported over 17 of these incidents had occurred so far. More have happened since then. On Saturday, a man died after a car rammed into him during a protest in Bakersfield, California.
Henrico County is on the outskirts of Richmond, Virginia, where heated protests saw a Confederate statue toppled over the weekend.
The KKK, a white supremacy organization, has a known presence in the area. Just last year, over 100 KKK flyers, along with bags of rocks, were distributed to people's homes in Henrico, on the outskirts of Richmond.
"COME JOIN THE FIGHT AGAINST COMMUNIST ANTIFA TERRORIST, THE ZIONIST POWERS THAT BE AND THE POLITICAL VERMIN WHO WISH TO REPLACE OUR PEOPLE, OUR CULTURE, AND OUR WAY OF LIFE," read the message distributed in August 2019.
"At this moment in time when we are talking about racism and inequality and injustice," said Taylor in a phone interview on Monday, "this organization and what it stands for will not be tolerated."
Thursday, June 11, 2020
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