A man who is an admitted leader of the Ku Klux Klan is accused of driving his truck through protesters during a Richmond, Virginia, demonstration June 7 as they peacefully protested racial injustice and excessive force used by police in the wake of the death of George Floyd, an African American who was killed by a white police officer on May 25.
According to Henrico County Police spokesperson Lieutenant A. M. Robertson, “several witnesses reported that a vehicle revved their engine and drove through the protesters occupying the roadway.”
The incident happened at about 5:45 p.m. on Lakeside Avenue. A 36-year-old man, Harry H. Rogers, was arrested for the crime and is currently being held at the Henrico County Jail.
Robertson said no one was badly injured, but one person was checked out at the scene by emergency medical workers and refused further treatment. That adult victim was the one who called the police.
According to someone who tweeted that she was a witness to Rogers disrupting the protest, he also followed protesters and filmed them.
According to Taylor, Rogers “by his own admission and by a cursory glance at social media is an admitted leader of the KKK and a propagandist for confederate ideology. We are investigating whether hate crimes charges are appropriate,” she said in a statement.
Taylor said they will prosecute Rogers to the “full extent of the law,” calling his alleged action “heinous” and “despicable.”
Rogers’ current charges are attempted malicious wounding and destruction of property, both felonies, and misdemeanor assault and battery, according to WTVR CBS 6. While the investigation continues, he is being held without bond. Law enforcement and Taylor’s office are both asking witnesses to come forward with any more information.
Rogers, who goes by “Skip,” stood outside the Colonial Heights War Memorial in March 2016 in a white robe with red trim and a KKK symbol on it while waving a confederate flag, according to the Progress-Index. At the time, Rogers wouldn’t say why he was doing it.
He told Progress-Index, “I’m exercising my First Amendment right,” he said, and that he planned to stand there “until my clothes get cold.”
In 2015, the Progress-Index ran a story about Rogers, who was an organizer of an NAACP (National Association for Awakening Confederate Patriots) “Confederate flag ride,” with about 20 vehicles waving the flag through the town of Petersburg.
The last public posts on the NAACP Facebook page are from 2015. One post reads that the group has one common goal, which is to “bring America back to the way it’s supposed to be.”