Update: Fitzhugh Found Not Guilty of Obstructing Free Passage
A Charlottesville judge has found Veronica Haunami Fitzhugh not guilty of obstructing free passage in connection to the the KKK rally at Justice Park..
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - A judge has found a Charlottesville woman not guilty of obstructing free passage in connection to the the KKK rally at Justice Park.
Thirty-nine-year-old Veronica Haunami Fitzhugh appeared in Charlottesville General District Court Friday, October 20. She was one of several people arrested and charged on July 8 while protesting members and supporters of the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.
Friday, the court heard testimony from a Virginia State Trooper about Fitzhugh's whereabouts during that protest.
A Charlottesville police officer also took the witness stand, describing to the court how Fitzhugh refused to remove herself from a secured entrance into the park. The officer testified that Fitzhugh locked arms with other counter protesters preventing the KKK group from entering the park.
"They had a metal gate preventing entrance into the park, and then to claim that somebody's blocking entrance free passageway into the park when nobody was allowed into the park, and nobody was obstructed,” said Fitzhugh's attorney, Jeffrey E. Fogel. “We saw the video, nobody was obstructed."
The court also took up motions in connection to the other charges against Fitzhugh. Police had also charged her back in May 20 with assault and battery and disorderly conduct. According to authorities, Fitzhugh was part of a group yelling and chanting at several men - which included Unite the Right organizer Jason Kessler - seated outdoors in the 400 block of East Main Street.
The following day, a man accused Fitzhugh of assault. According to police, the man had a Confederate flag and was taking pictures of the Robert E. Lee statue in Emancipation Park when Fitzhugh allegedly yelled and pushed him.
"We look forward to trying the other cases as well," said Fogel.
Supporters, friends, and family clapped and cheered for Fitzhugh outside of court. Fogel said he is very happy for his client.
The case involving Kessler is set to go to trial on November 20.
The court will appoint a special prosecutor for the Emancipation Park case, which is also set to be heard next month.