/  08.11.2020

A self-proclaimed Ku Klux Klan (KKK) leader was sentenced to six years behind bars for plowing through a crowd of Black Lives Matter protesters with his truck back in June.

On Monday (Aug. 10), Harry H. Rogers, who claimed to be the “highest-ranking member of the KKK,” was convicted of six misdemeanors —  four simple assaults, property damage and hit-and-run — and sentenced to 12 months in jail for each, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Rogers still faces three felony charges of attempted malicious wounding — one count for each of the people he struck.

On June 7, witnesses say they saw Rogers’ blue pickup truck heading south past the protesters. He turned around and sped up to catch up with crowd. He then plowed his truck into the group of demonstrators who were marching in the streets.

Three people were struck. Richard Sebastian was one of the victims who testified in court on Monday. He was riding a cargo bicycle, which carried water and first aid equipment for the protesters.

He placed himself and his bike in front of the truck on the passenger’s side while another cyclist was on the driver’s side of the vehicle. Both of them were hit. Sebastian’s bike was damaged and his foot was injured. During his testimony, he said that he only sustained bruises around his big toe.

Roger’s defense attorney George Townsend asked Sebastian why he would deliberately put himself in the vehicle’s path. “I was terrified,” he replied. “What I thought of immediately was what happened in Charlottesville and thinking it could happen here.”

Mary Repole, a demonstrator who was struck twice by Rogers’ truck, said she jumped on the hood of the vehicle to avoid being pulled under it. “I just wanted to keep his attention towards me rather than finding others to hit,” she said.

After the June 7 incident, Rogers went Live on Facebook before he was arrested by the Henrico police. “They scattered like cockroaches,” he said. “It’s kind of funny if you ask me.” Once investigators searched his home, they found KKK memorabilia including literature, patches and a “green grand dragon robe.”


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