Charlottesville, Virginia—A verdict in the trial related to the Unite the Right Rally in 2017 has been reached. A jury has found the defendants in the federal lawsuit liable for four of the six claims against them.
For the biggest claims (claims one and two), the jury cannot reach a verdict. Claim one sought evidence to prove the defendants conspired to engage in a conspiracy to commit racially motivated violence. Claim two pertains to the defendant’s knowledge of the conspiracy found in Claim 1 and negligence to prevent that conspiracy from taking place. James A. Fields, the driver of the car used in the deadly attack, was found liable for assault and battery and infliction of emotional harm against the survivors, who were awarded $12 million in damages.
“Anyone who has seen any of the footage from those two days in August 2017 can tell that the defendants engaged in racially motivated violence,” LaTwyla Mathias, Executive Director at Progress Virginia said. “We applaud the jury for holding the defendants accountable for their actions through this verdict. However, in order for our community to fully heal and move on from the traumatic events of the Unite the Right Rally, we must wholeheartedly confront and dismantle racist hatred and violence in the Commonwealth. No verdict or monetary compensation will reverse the trauma the survivors endured, nor will it promise full recovery and healing. But we must continue fighting for and working towards a Virginia where white supremacist violence is a thing of the past. We have a lot of work still to do.”
- Unite the Right Rally was held at newly named Emancipation Park in Charlottesville, Virginia on August 12, 2017.
- Prior to the rally, there were protests about the renaming of Robert E.Lee park and the removal of the Robert E. Lee statue
- August 11, 2017, hundreds of white nationalists convened at The University of Virginia chanting “you will not replace us.”
- James Alex Fields Jr. drove a car into counter protesters, killing one, and injuring 19 others.
- A jury found defendants liable in four out of the six claims against them, but were unable to reach a verdict on the remaining two claims and awarded millions of dollars in damages to the plaintiffs.