DeAndre Harris turns himself after warrant issued for his arrest

Harris’s attorney claims the charge was based on misleading evidence

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DeAndre Harris turned himself in to the Charlottesville Police Department Thursday morning after a warrant was put out for his arrest for felony unlawful wounding.

Courtesy Charlottesville Police Department

DeAndre Harris turned himself in to the Charlottesville Police Department Thursday morning after a warrant was put out for his arrest for felony unlawful wounding in relation to the violent “Unite the Right” rally of Aug. 12. He was released on an unsecured bond. 

The warrant was originally issued by a county magistrate Monday. Harris’s attorney, S. Lee Merritt, identified the alleged victim who asked for the warrant as Harold Ray Crews, who is the chairman of the North Carolina chapter of the League of the South. 

According to their website, the League of the South is a “Southern Nationalist organization” committed to promoting “the survival, well-being and independence” of Southern people. However, the Southern Poverty Law Center defines the group as a “neo-Confederate group” that advocates for a society dominated by European Americans. 

The attack is claimed to have occurred near the East Market Street parking garage in the chaos of the rally.

Merritt claims the charge was based on misleading evidence and called it “the result of a successful campaign by the neo-Confederate hate group, League of the South, to manipulate the Charlottesville judiciary and further victimize Mr. Harris” in a press release on Tuesday. 

According to the release from Merritt, Crews’s injuries were in no way caused by Harris’s actions. 

“Harris and Crews had a brief encounter when Harris observed Crews appearing to spear an associate with the sharpened end of a Confederate flag,” Merritt said. “Mr. Harris swung a flashlight in the space between the flagpole and Mr. Crews, failing to make significant contact before the brief scuffle ended.” 

Harris himself sustained severe injuries, including fractures, cranial lacerations and internal body injuries allegedly perpetrated by members of the League of the South when he retreated from the incident. Video footage of this beating has circulated the web and a multitude of news outlets. 

“Crews was injured in a completely separate subsequent incident not involving Mr. Harris whatsoever,” Merrit’s release said. “The succeeding incident was also recorded and appears to involve a clash between at least four white males. In the video you can clearly see Crews struck in the head by an object wielded by an unidentified white male causing him to fall and strike the pavement.” 

The League of the South did not respond to requests for comment. 

According to the CPD, a detective responded to the warrant request and verified the story presented by Crews. In an interview with the Daily Progress, Sgt. Jake Via clarified that the warrant was only based on the alleged victim’s testimony. 

No court date has been released at this time. 

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