According to BuzzFeed News, 36-year-old Harry Rogers was convicted of six misdemeanors and is still facing three felony charges of attempted malicious wounding, which could result in additional prison time.
The incident took place on June 7. Rogers shared Facebook Live videos of himself before and after he drove through a crowd of BLM protesters in Virginia, hitting three people with his pickup truck. Fortunately, no one was seriously injured.
"They scattered like cockroaches,” Rogers said in one video following the incident. “It’s kind of funny if you ask me.”
Prosecutors reportedly found “KKK memorabilia, patches, and a set of robes in his home,” however three charges of committing a hate crime were thrown out due to the fact that the three protesters struck by Rogers are white.
“Our current law recognizes the ethnicity of the victim as a basis for our hate crime, but our current laws are insufficient; we need a law that will capture the hateful and vengeful intent of a defendant regardless of the skin color of the victim," prosecuting attorney Shannon Taylor told BuzzFeed News. "A devout member of the KKK, whose ideology believes that people of color are inferior, does not believe in the Black Lives Matter movement. Any action towards a Black Lives Matter movement is one based in hate and that should be a reason to impose a harsher sentence."
The tactic of driving into crowds of protesters is being increasingly utilized by both police and hate groups. This incident follows the 2017 murder of Heather Heyer by an alt-right member who drove his car into a crowd of counterprotesters at the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Rogers not only attended the 2017 rally, but also he reportedly protested at Heyer’s funeral.