Jury awards $25M in damages to victims of white nationalist violence in Charlottesville rally
Reuters | 11/24/2021, 6 p.m.
CHARLOTTESVILLE - A federal jury in Charlottesville, looking into deadly “Unite the Right” white nationalist rally in Charlottesville in August 2017, found defendants liable in four out of six counts and awarded $25 million in damages, according to media reports on Tuesday.
The jury awarded the money to nine people who suffered injuries, the New York Times and the Associated Press reported. White supremacists had organized the rally in Charlottesville
to protest the city’s planned removal of Confederate statues from city-owned property. The event turned deadly when a car was driven into the crowd of counterprotesters by James Alex Fields, a self-described neo-Nazi, killing 32-year-old paralegal Heather Heyer and injuring dozens of others.
The jury in Charlottesville was asked to consider whether the white supremacists and hate groups conspired to commit racially motivated violence during the weekend of the rally.
Then-President Trump was criticized for initially saying there were “fine people on both sides” of the dispute between neo- Nazis and their opponents at the rally.
The jury of 11 deliberated for more than three days following four weeks of testimony in the civil trial in a federal court in Charlottesville.
Roberta Kaplan, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, had asked jurors to consider awarding millions of dollars in punitive damages—from $7 million to $10 million for those physically harmed and $3 million to $5 million for emotional pain, NBC News reported.