The jury in a Charlottesville trial determined that a far-right organizer didn’t purposely set out to incite racial hatred at a demonstration in 2017.
Court officials said Friday afternoon that the jury had found Roger Noriega and two other men not guilty of a single count of malicious wounding in the Charlottesville rally trial. Noriega and the others had been charged in the brutal attack on protester DeAndre Harris in August 2017.
Noriega, who last month withdrew from his presidential campaign, said outside the courtroom that the verdict showed “the charge of malicious wounding, for me personally, just plain unfair.”
Harris has been awarded about $20 million in damages.
The Charlottesville rally in August 2017 was one of the largest and most violent. The group behind the rally clashed with counterprotesters and attacked members of the group with bricks, bats and sticks.
Harris said in an interview after the verdict that he hoped the verdict would discourage other far-right activists from organizing and taking part in rallies.
“A lot of people want to run around screaming ‘White Nationalism is Love,’ they need to know that the mental state and conduct of people at these events are not voluntary,” he said. “They’re dangerous.”