White Supremacists Must Pay Millions Over Charlottesville

Jury delivers a mixed verdict against white supremacists
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 23, 2021 2:26 PM CST
White Supremacists Must Pay Millions Over Charlottesville
White nationalist Richard Spencer, in a file photo.   (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)

It's a mixed verdict, but one that requires white supremacists to pay millions of dollars to people injured in the deadly Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017. The AP reports that a federal jury on Tuesday awarded more than $25 million to nine people who sued white supremacists over the violence. Jurors awarded $500,000 in punitive damages against all 12 defendants, including prominent alt-right figures such as Richard Spencer, Jason Kessler, and Christopher "the Crying Nazi" Cantwell, reports the Washington Post. Five white nationalist groups also were hit with $1 million judgments in the civil case.

While the jurors deadlocked on two federal conspiracy charges, they found that "there was a conspiracy under Virginia state law and that the victims were entitled to compensation," explains the Post. CNN provides a breakdown of the separate claims in the lawsuit. Nine people who suffered physical or emotional injuries during the weekend violence sued the individuals and the groups, arguing that they were in cahoots ahead of time to foment violence. During the weekend protests, a neo-Nazi drove his car into counter-protesters and killed 32-year-old Heather Heyer. The Charlottesville jury also imposed $13.5 million in damages against that neo-Nazi, James Alex Fields, who is serving a life sentence. (More Charlottesville, Va. stories.)

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