RICHMOND, VA -- The self-proclaimed leader of the Ku Klux Klan in Virginia was found guilty on Monday of six misdemeanor charges following a June incident where he drove a vehicle into a group of Black Lives Matter protesters.
Video footage from June 7 shows Harry H. Rogers driving onto the median to pass a group of cars behind 300 protesters. He was also caught on camera driving into at least two bicyclists and one demonstrator on foot.
Rogers purportedly boasted to authorities that he was the "highest-ranking member" of the KKK in the state and had been coordinating with 20 others to "defend" Confederate monuments in Richmond. He also told the cops to "check him out" on social media.
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"Several witnesses reported that a vehicle revved their engine and drove through the protesters occupying the roadway," Henrico County Police said in a statement following the incident.
One person was injured during Rogers' attack but was not seriously wounded.
Rogers, 36, was initially charged with attempted malicious wounding, felony vandalism, and assault and battery. A couple of weeks later, Henrico Commonwealth's Attorney Shannon Taylor brought additional charges against him, including four counts of assault with hate crimes, two counts of felonious attempted malicious wounding and one count of felony hit and run.
"I am charging Mr. Rogers with the strongest form of assault and hate crimes permitted under Virginia law," Taylor said. "...I will not tolerate this violence in Henrico. I have no doubt Mr. Rogers was motivated by bigotry and racism and should be severely punished for his egregious criminal behavior."
The Henrico County judge thought otherwise.
Roger was not found guilty of the hate crime charges. The judge argued that because some victims were white, Rogers did not target them because of their race, WTVR reported.
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Following the incident, police officers found KKK memorabilia including patches, literature, and a manifesto in Rogers' Chevrolet truck. He also had an AR-15 firearm and two 20-round M4 magazines in his center console. A search of his home found multiple firearms, a vest with extended magazine clips, ammunition, and a green grand dragon robe.
Rogers' attorney George Townsend argued that the cyclist who Rogers is accused of hitting stepped toward Rogers' car during the collision.
Prior to his most recent arrest, Rogers had a handful of misdemeanors and traffic infractions against him.
In 2017, he was sentenced to 15 days in jail on a concealed weapons charge that stemmed from an incident where he showed up to a fast-food restaurant dressed in full Klan costume and caused a scene. He also has a trespassing charge "under advisement," which means he violated those terms when he picked up the newest charges against him.
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And on May 29, the authorities were called after Rogers entered OrthoVirginia, a medical facility, without a mask. When the receptionist told him to put on a face-covering, he went to his car and came back in a Klan hood. When shown the door by staff, he yelled "white power," according to the police report.