The National Lawyers Guild of Central Virginia announced yesterday that yet another black resident of Charlottesville has been charged with a felony. Please read their statement below:
Mr. Donald Blakney was arrested at his home on Friday by Charlottesville Police Department (CPD). He is charged with Malicious Wounding — a felony that carries a 5 year minimum and the possibility of up to 20 years in prison.
On August 12, he was physically attacked by a participant in the Unite the Right rally, who also yelled racist slurs at him. Later that fall, he was questioned by CPD and the FBI under the pretext of the ongoing criminal investigation into right-wing violence that day.
The charges against Mr. Blakney are apparently based in part on a video broadcast by the ABC News program 20/20 that depicts him at the scene.
Mr. Blakney is the third counter-protester to be arrested and charged arising out of the events in Charlottesville on August 12, 2017. Corey Long and DeAndre Harris are both also facing criminal charges. All three are Black men and local residents who were attacked that day.
Mr. Blakney was released on personal recognizance Friday. He has an arraignment tomorrow, Monday, January 22 at 10AM in Charlottesville General District Court and is requesting that supporters come in solidarity. Mr. Blakney is represented by attorneys Sandra Freeman and David Baugh.
We demand that the Commonwealth’s Attorney and the Charlottesville Police Department immediately drop the charges against Mr. Blakney and cease the racist targeting and harassment of people of color who bravely confront white supremacist violence.
DONATE TODAY to contribute to legal support for community members like Donald Blakney and Corey Long.