The man who revved his engine and then drove his pickup truck into a crowd of protesters in Henrico, Virginia, on Sunday, injuring one person, has turned out to be the self-described leader of a Ku Klux Klan faction based in nearby Hanover, prosecutors say. They plan to investigate whether or not to file hate crime charges against the man.
Harry H. Rogers, 36, was charged with assault and battery, attempted malicious wounding, and felony vandalism, according to Commonwealth’s Attorney Shannon Taylor. 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.”
Witnesses said that Rogers revved his engine and drove his truck through the crowd of protesters. One man who was hit by the truck was able to call police and report it.
A Facebook video posted by Jake Burns of WTVR-TV in Richmond showed the truck pulling up behind protesters and then stopping after apparently striking people in the roadway. Rogers could then be seen getting out of the truck as other protesters surrounded him.
“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’s statement read.
She continued: “Yesterday, I participated in a different peaceful protest for equality and justice in Henrico. Protesters acting peaceably, well within their constitutional rights of assembly, should not have to fear violence. 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.”
Ironically, the KKK faction with which Rogers is apparently affiliated—the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, based in North Carolina—had marched in Charlottesville only a month before the lethal “Unite the Right Rally” in 2017. It also held a rally at the Hanover courthouse in 2019 that roiled the community.