Harry H. Rogers KKK, Virginia leader of the Ku Klux Klan charged after driving into Black Lives Matters protesters in Richmond. A history of hate.
A man proclaiming to be a member of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) is facing potential hate crime charges after allegedly driving his vehicle into a crowd of Black Lives Matters protesters in Virginia on Sunday.
Harry H. Rogers, 36, was allegedly driving recklessly down the median on Lakeside Avenue in Richmond in the vicinity of the protest, before he revved up the engine and sped his pickup truck towards the protesters and plowed into the group, according to authorities.
Witnesses said Rogers hit a bicyclist, hitting his foot before driving away in an incident many were heard screaming and fearing for their lives.
Virginia prosecutor said Monday she is investigating whether hate crimes charges are appropriate against Rogers, who reportedly described himself as the highest ranking member of the white supremacist group in the state not to be incarcerated.
There were no reports of serious injuries from the incident that occurred around 6pm on Sunday.
Rogers of Hanover County was arrested and charged with assault and battery, attempted malicious wounding and felony vandalism.
‘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. We are investigating whether hate crimes charges are appropriate,’ Henrico County Commonwealth’s Attorney Shannon Taylor said in a statement.
One person was checked for injuries but no one was seriously hurt.
‘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 continued.
‘We lived through this in Virginia in Charlottesville in 2017. I promise Henricoans that this egregious criminal act will not go unpunished. Hate has no place here under my watch.’
Rogers made an initial court appearance Monday morning where he agreed to accept a court-appointed attorney and was denied bond, WTVR reported. He is due back in court in August.
A woman who said she was Rogers’ girlfriend and shares a home with him, said in an interview from their home that he went to make sure nobody defaced the A.P. Hill statue in the area.
General Robert Lee monument incident
‘He did not go there with violent tendencies,’ the girlfriend, who wished to remain anonymous for fear of repercussions, told the Richmond Dispatch Times. The woman said she’d received death threats.
She claimed Rogers, also known as ‘Skip’, took her 14-year-old son with him to keep watch and alleged that a protester hit her son.
‘Someone reaches in the truck window and popped my son in the side of the face,’ she said.
She said she knew because she was on the phone with Rogers and then asked her: ‘What do I do?’
The woman insists that after the alleged slap through the vehicle window: ‘He tried to drive over a median to get my son out of danger.’
here is the receipts https://t.co/DQoHFxcLBs
— Goad Gatsby (@GoadGatsby) June 8, 2020
KKK leader participated at rally where protester was killed in 2017
Rogers was seen at the 2017 Unite the Right rally where Heather Heyer was killed when a man rammed his vehicle into protesters. President Trump responded to the incident by saying there were ‘very fine people on both sides’.
Rogers tried to disrupt Heyer’s memorial two days later when showed up in KKK robes and a Confederate patches.
According to the Virginia State Attorney’s Office, in 2017 there were 202 Hate Crimes reported in the state, of those, 38 were assaults based on racial bias, 44 were property or vandalism crimes based on racial bias and 68 bias-motivated crimes against African-Americans.