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'KKK' President' who drove truck into protest found guilty of six misdemeanors

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Posted at 11:18 AM, Aug 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-11 08:45:24-04

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- Harry Rogers, the self-proclaimed KKK leader who drove his truck into Black Lives Matter protesters, was found guilty of six misdemeanors on Monday.

Rogers faced four hate crimes, two counts of felonious attempted malicious wounding, and one count of felony hit and run in connection to a June 7 incident in Lakeside.

He was found guilty of four misdemeanor simple assault charges, one misdemeanor property damage charge, and one misdemeanor hit and run.

Henrico General District Court Judge Thomas Bondurant, Jr. certified three attempted malicious wounding felonies to the September Circuit Court grand jury.

Henrico Commonwealth’s Attorney Shannon Taylor added the four hate crime charges in July after speaking to more than "two dozen witnesses and several victims."

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"After further in-depth investigation... I determined that additional charges were warranted," Taylor said last month.

Rogers' defense attorney, George Townsend, argued that the hate crime enhancement did not apply to the case since the victims were white. Judge Bondurant agreed, but handed the defendant the maximum sentence regardless.

During the June incident, a group of about 300 people marched down Lakeside Avenue during an organized Black Lives Matter protest that was advertised on Facebook.

As the protesters marched north on Lakeside Avenue, Rogers was driving south. He made a U-turn over the median, according to investigators.

Prosecutors said Rogers passed cars that were behind the protesters in order to get to the marchers. While Rogers revved his engine to intimidate the protesters, two bicyclists were struck, investigators said.

Another woman jumped on the hood of Rogers' truck in order not to get run over, according to police.

Townsend argued that the protesters intentionally moved their bodies and bike to the left and into the path of the truck.

Three of the victims testified, while a third victim has remained as "John Doe."

"I was terrified" one victim said on the witness stand.

Another victim stated that she walked into the past of Rogers' truck to encourage him to stop and turn around. Both cited the deadly Unite the Right white supremacist in Charlottesville as reasons why they tried to stop his truck.

Multiple witnesses stated Rogers exited his vehicle and stood in a threatening manner with a pistol on his hip after a water bottle was thrown as his truck.

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The Commonwealth's Attorney cited Rogers' well-known beliefs as the "Grand Dragon" of the KKK and said he boasted that he was a top official of the KKK in Virginia to police at the scene.

He originally told officers that a protester had struck Rogers' juvenile passenger, but they found no evidence of any injuries.

A search of Rogers' truck found numerous ammunition magazines and weapons.

A search of the residence Rogers shared with his girlfriend and their children in Hanover found a Ku Klux Klan robe, a "Klan Bible," KKK paraphernalia as well as a KKK "White Power Flag" - including additional weapons.

Prosecutors showed a Facebook Live that Rogers streamed on his account boasting that he was driving to the Sunday march and also admitting to driving through the protesters.

"Let's go have some fun," he said after urging his followers to go to the A.P. Hill statue in Richmond to protect it from the protesters. The BLM marchers had planned to hold a moment of silence at the Confederate monument.

During a June bond hearing, prosecutors also cited two separate past incidents involving Rogers and the public.

On March 19, 2017, Rogers attempted to order food from the drive-thru at Popeyes on Laburnum Avenue. The employees asked Rogers to pull forward and he became argumentative stating he was armed, police said. Police were called and charged him with carrying a concealed weapon without a permit.

On May 29, 2020, Rogers entered OrthoVirginia in Henrico County without a mask. The receptionist asked him to put on a mask. Rogers returned wearing a KKK hood and was asked to leave. As he left, he shouted "white power," according to police. He was not charged.

The Henrico County Circuit Court Judge denied Rogers' bond citing he was an "unreasonable danger to the public."