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‘Leader Of KKK’ Who Drove Through Virginia Black Lives Matter Protest Sentenced To Six Years In Prison

by : Lucy Connolly on : 12 Aug 2020 10:46
Henrico's Sheriff Department/WTVR

A self-proclaimed Ku Klux Klan (KKK) leader has been sentenced to six years in prison after driving his car through a group of Black Lives Matter protesters in June.

Harry Rogers, from Glen Allen, Virginia, admitted to being the leader of a local KKK chapter after the incident on June 7, in which witnesses said he ‘revved [his] engine and drove through the protesters occupying the roadway’, according to police.

The 37-year-old was convicted on Monday, August 10, of six misdemeanour charges for simple assault, destruction of property and failure to stop at the scene of an accident, according to court records.

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leader of kkk sent to prison for driving through BLM protestleader of kkk sent to prison for driving through BLM protestHenrico Sheriff's Department

Rogers still faces three felony counts for attempted malicious wounding – one count for each of the three people injured in the incident – that he has not yet entered a plea for. None of those injuries were life-threatening, Henrico County Commonwealth’s Attorney Shannon Taylor said.

Several protesters witnessed a vehicle driving into the crowd at the Black Lives Matter protest in Henrico County, Virginia, with Rogers being arrested at the scene after a victim called 911. That person was checked by rescue workers at the scene and refused further treatment, according to police.

Taylor said in a statement in June that the ‘egregious criminal act will not go unpunished’, as per CNN. ‘We lived through this in Virginia in Charlottesville in 2017. Hate has no place here under my watch.’

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KKK Leader Charged For Driving Car Into Black Lives Matter ProtestersKKK Leader Charged For Driving Car Into Black Lives Matter ProtestersWTVR

Taylor also said that Rogers ‘went live’ on Facebook at least twice on June 7, with one video thought to be filmed on his way to the protest, telling his friends to join him.

Another video is believed to have been filmed after he had driven his car into protesters, ‘regaling in how he revved the engine and drove right on through’, Taylor said.

Rogers is described by prosecutors as ‘an admitted leader of the Ku Klux Klan and a propagandist for Confederate ideology’, with the arresting police officers finding several KKK and Confederate flag patches and Klan literature in his vehicle’s glove compartment.

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Taylor said one of these patches was for a local KKK chapter that Rogers admitted to being the leader of. Police officers also found multiple weapons and clips of ammunition while searching his truck and home.

KKK Leader Charged For Driving Car Into Black Lives Matter ProtestersKKK Leader Charged For Driving Car Into Black Lives Matter ProtestersPA Images

Ultimately, Rogers wasn’t charged with any hate crimes, despite prosecutors looking to add hate crime sentencing enhancements to his charges, with a judge ruling that the three white victims were not targeted because of their race.

Taylor believes the current Virginia law regarding hate crimes is ‘insufficient’, adding that a new law is needed for crimes ‘when one acts with hatred against a group of people supporting each other’ – irrespective of the victim’s race or ethnicity.

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The hearing for Rogers on his remaining felony charges is scheduled for September 14.

If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact Stop Hate UK by visiting their website www.stophateuk.org/talk

Lucy Connolly

A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).

Topics: News, America, Black Lives Matter, Crime, kkk, Now, Protests, Racism, US, Virginia

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CNN
  1. CNN

    An 'admitted leader of the KKK' is sentenced to 6 years in prison for driving his truck through Black Lives Matter protesters