20-year-old Deandre Harris beaten at Charlottesville protest speaks out on experience
Deandre Harris, 20, is known throughout the world for the wrong reasons. Instead of his aspiring music career, he’s known for being the victim of a beating doled out by a group of white supremacists at this weekend’s “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Va.
A photo was posted on Twitter that showed Harris on the ground as a group of men surround him with poles as they proceeded to hit him with them. Harris recently sat down for an interview with The Root about his horrific experience.
— Zach D Roberts (@zdroberts) August 12, 2017
“Me and about five of my friends were out protesting. We thought [the racists] left, but at one point they came back. Everyone was exchanging words with the group, but then the KKK and white supremacists just rushed us,” Harris said.
“They were beating me with poles. I have eight staples in my head, a broken wrist and a chipped tooth.”
Harris said he was only saved from the attack from his friends who saw him in the middle of the group. The most ironic part of all this is that the attack happened near a local police department and nothing was done, which goes along with the narrative protestors from both sides have been sharing with the public.
While the right to assembly and freedom of speech are protected under the First Amendment, many, including Harris are wondering why “Unite the Right” was allowed to happen.
“I think for them to be allowed to come here and protest is really crazy. How do you expect the KKK to come to your city to protest, and them not be violent? I understand everyone is entitled to their freedom of speech, but the government and the mayor made a bad business move. It’s only caused havoc in your own city. It’s crazier that people have the hatred in their heart to want to kill black people,” Harris stated.
Thankfully, Harris’ attack didn’t have the tragic end it very well could’ve. But he’ll likely carry the memories of it with him for the rest of his life. If you’d like to help, his family has started a GoFundMe campaign in his honor.