After a Virginia magistrate issued an arrest warrant for DeAndre Harris on Monday, his attorney spoke out against the charges and provided video disputing the report.
Harris was charged with unlawful wounding in connection to the assault of white “Southern nationalist” Harold Ray Crews at the “Unite The Right” rally in Charlottesville, reported The Root. Although Crews claims he was injured by Harris, attorney, S. Lee Merritt, said his client had nothing to do with Crews injuries.
Merritt also said Harris was in the hospital receiving treatment for his own injuries during the time of the attack.
“[Crews] was struck in the head with what seemed to be a metal pipe, and he fell to the ground. He did receive those injuries, but it appeared to be from a separate attack that occurred while Deandre was in the hospital,” Merritt told The Root.
Merritt also posted video and photos which show Crews being struck in the back of his head by what appears to be a white, male, anti-fascist member who has on a disguise.
Merritt also spoke out against a viral a 5-second video clip that some white supremacists have been saying shows Harris attacking Crews with a pipe.
“The incident that Deandre was involved in, showed him [Crews] as the aggressor, driving his pole into [counterprotester] Corey Long, the sharp end of his flag pole. Deandre responded to that defensively, which is an affirmative defense to the charges filed against him,” Merritt told The Root.
“If you look at the video, he doesn’t strike anybody, he never actually makes contact. The level of the charges they filed state that he would have had to [have] caused serious bodily harm, or intended to maim him or kill him. These are the same charges they filed against the men who attacked Deandre. The injuries are not a felony assault by any stretch and are not consistent with the injuries reported to the magistrate,” Merritt added.
In an interview, an official with the Charlottesville Police Department said they were investigating Crews’ allegations and were surprised by the magistrates charges.
“We were not expecting this. We were expecting to do our own investigation into the man’s allegations,” Charlottesville Police Detective Sgt. Jake Via told the Washington Post.
(Photo: S. Lee Merritt via Twitter)