Henrico County Commonwealth’s Attorney Shannon Taylor announced Monday that she is weighing hate crimes charges for an “admitted leader of the Ku Klux Klan” after he allegedly steered his pickup truck into a group of protesters.
“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,” she said in a statement provided to TPM. “We are investigating whether hate crimes charges are appropriate.”
Henrico County Police identified the man publicly as Harry Rogers, a 36-year-old from nearby Hanover County, and said that he has so far been charged with attempted malicious wounding, felony vandalism and assault and battery. He is being held without bond.
Per police, Rogers allegedly committed his offense on Sunday evening in Lakeside, Virginia. Multiple witnesses reported that a vehicle revved its engine and “drove through the protesters occupying the roadway.” Police said that a victim was checked out at the scene but declined further treatment.
Taylor confirmed that the victim’s injuries did not seem “serious,” though she added that the attack on peaceful protesters was still “heinous and despicable.”
Pictures provided to TPM by Justice RVA, a local activist group supporting anti-racism protests, show Rogers smoking a cigarette and talking with police officers. The group told TPM that the pictures were taken while the officers were collecting witness statements after Rogers had drove into the crowd.
“He was not put into handcuffs until after EVERY statement was taken,” the group said in an email.
The Henrico Police division did not immediately respond to TPM’s questions about the pictures.
This is not the first time Rogers has made headlines in the commonwealth.
In 2016, he created a stir by dressing in white robes emblazoned with a KKK insignia and waving a Confederate flag next to a war memorial in Colonial Heights, Virginia.
He identified himself then as “Skip” — the same nickname he uses for his business, Skip’s Firewood Service — and said that he was a member of the National Association for the Awakening of Confederate Patriots, which uses the same NAACP acronym as the famous civil rights organization.
The group’s Facebook page, which hasn’t been active since 2015, is littered with pictures of guns and grievances about the “outlawing of American history” in the form of removing Confederate iconography.