Seven people were arrested Friday while marching in opposition of the guilty verdict for a counterprotester during the Unite the Right rally last August.
On Friday, June 8, a judge handed down a guilty verdict for disorderly conduct to Corey Long, who claims he was acting in self-defense on August 12 when he ignited an aerosol can to push Unite the Right rally participants away from him.
The commonwealth said Long's action was dangerous to enough people to find him guilty of the charge. He was sentenced to 360 days in jail, but he will only have to serve 20. He was also given two years of good behavior and 100 hours of community service.
At around 10 p.m. Friday, a group of about 20-25 people marched along the Downtown Mall and by the Market Street Parking Garage in opposition to that decision. Participants chanted, "Black Lives Matter" and "Corey Long did nothing wrong."
"People are still angry about what happened with Corey Long, and that goes back some time," says Jeff Fogel, a Charlottesville attorney. "That goes back to his arrest, the decision to prosecute him, and the guilty finding today. So people are not satisfied with that, and that's why they're out here tonight to tell the community this struggle, even for him, is not over."
Police confirm seven people were arrested for blocking the streets, a violation of Virginia Code 46.2-926.
Virginia Code 46.2-926 - Pedestrians stepping into highway where they cannot be seen: No pedestrian shall step into a highway open to moving vehicular traffic at any point between intersections where his presence would be obscured from the vision of drivers of approaching vehicles by a vehicle or other obstruction at the curb or side. The foregoing prohibition shall not apply to a pedestrian stepping into a highway to board a bus or to enter a safety zone, in which event he shall cross the highway only at right angles.
Charlottesville Police Department Press Release:
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - On June 8, 2018 at approximately 9:54 p.m. Charlottesville Police Officers were dispatched to a disorder involving a large crowd on the Downtown Mall.
Officers responded and observed a large group of protesters marching on the Downtown Mall. The protesters made their way to East Market Street, in front of Emancipation Park.
The protesters gathered in the middle of the roadway and were given repeated instructions to move out of the roadway or they would be arrested. When the protesters failed to comply with the officers’ instructions, officers began making arrests.
Seven individuals were arrested for violation of Virginia Code 46.2-926 (Pedestrian: Step into street with poor visibility)