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White Supremacist Found Guilty In Charlottesville Rally Attack On Black Man

The attack at the Unite the Right rally was caught on video, prompting online sleuths to find the culprits.

By Jon Silman
7 Facts About Hate Crimes In America

A white supremacist has been found guilty of viciously beating a black man during the notorious Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia last summer.

Jacob Scott Goodwin, 23, was in a group of men who attacked DeAndre Harris, 20, in a parking garage during the far-right rally. The jury recommended a sentence of ten years and a $20,000 fine, The Washington Post reported. Goodwin is set to be sentenced in August.

The attack on August 12 was captured on video, which prompted online sleuths to track down the men seen attacking Harris. Goodwin, who lives in Arkansas, was arrested two months after the rally.

The video shows white men — some with plastic shields, sticks and goggles — surround Harris and beat him while he's on the ground. They scream "get out" while he hobbles away.

Harris, a former special education instructional assistant, suffered a spinal injury, a broken arm and cuts on his head that required eight staples.

A man at the rally named Harold Crews had initially accused Harris of an attack, but Harris was acquitted in March of a misdemeanor assault charge, according to WVIR-TV in Charlottesville.

Goodwin wore a pin at the rally with the number 88 on it — a code for "Heil Hitler" — and another with the logo of the Traditionalist Worker Party, a white nationalist group.

During the trial, Goodwin’s attorney Elmer Woodard argued that Harris came to pick a fight and Goodwin was just trying to defend himself.

Neither side brought up race as a motive for the attack until the end of the trial.

“They want you to convict this man because he’s white, and DeAndre is a black man,” Goodwin's attorney told the jury, according to the Washington Post.

Harris' lawyer, Nina-Alice Antony, objected to the comment and told the judge she deliberately avoided making the case about race. 

Three other men have been charged for the beating and are awaiting trial: Alex Michael Ramos of Georgia, Daniel Borden of Ohio and Tyler Watkins Davis of Florida.

The rally, which was ostensibly held to protest the removal of a status of Confederate Gen. Robert E Lee, broke out in violence several times and led to the death of 32-year-old Heather Heyer, who was killed when a man rammed a car into a crowd of counter-protesters. James Alex Fields Jr. was arrested and charged with first-degree murder for her death.

[Photo: Lonoke County Sheriff's Office]

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