A self-proclaimed KKK leader is behind bars this morning after he willfully drove into a crowd of protesters.
Harry H. Rogers, 36, has been charged with attempted malicious wounding, felony vandalism, and assault and battery.
Rogers’s girlfriend told the Times-Dispatch that Rogers had gone to the protest to watch over a Confederate statue and call police if Black Lives Matter protesters defaced it. He was protecting her 14-year-old son when he did what he had to do to get away from protesters who had reached into his truck and struck the boy, she said.
“He did not go there with violent tendencies,” she said.
The heinous act was partially caught on video by a person who was attending the peaceful protest. We will warn you the video may contain strong language or disturbing images.
Henrico Commonwealth’s Attorney Shannon Taylor said Rogers was driving recklessly down Lakeside Avenue in the median on Sunday, drove up to protesters, revved his engine and drove through the crowd. One person was evaluated for injuries.
“While I am grateful that the victim’s injuries do not appear to be serious, an attack on peaceful protesters is heinous and despicable and we will prosecute to the fullest extent of the law,” Taylor said.
She added: “The accused, by his own admission and by a cursory glance at social media, is an admitted leader of the Ku Klux Klan and a propagandist for Confederate ideology.”
Rogers girlfriend says that the protesters got violent with Rogers first. One of them, she alleges, reached into the truck and struck her son, who was with Rogers, in the face. Those who were on the scene, beg to differ.
"One of the protesters, Rachel Kurtz, said it’s untrue that anyone assaulted the teenager or that Rogers was trying to flee from the protesters. She said that she and other supporters of Black Lives Matter were planning to march to the A.P. Hill monument and then end with a moment of silence.
Kurtz said she was carrying her daughter and walking with her son and husband along Lakeside Avenue when the pickup came from behind them revving its engine. They got up on the sidewalk just in time to avoid the truck, she said. “It came right beside us into the crowd of protesters,” she said.
Taylor says that her department is investigating whether hate crime charges “are appropriate.”To us, it seems like hate crime charges are definitely appropriate and we would expect them to file them!
At this time, Rogers is being held without bond.