Henry H. Rogers, a 36-year-old self-proclaimed KKK leader, has been sentenced to six years in prison after driving a car through a crowd of Black Lives Matter protesters in June.
On Monday, Rogers was convicted of six misdemeanors, for each of which he will serve 12 months of prison time. He was found guilty of four simple assaults, property damage and hit-and-run. He also faces three felony charges of attempted malicious wounding. These counts — one for each of the three people he struck with his vehicle — are set to be heard before a grand jury next month.
On the evening of June 7, Rogers drove a blue Chevrolet pickup truck into a crowd of Black Lives Matter protesters on Lakeside Avenue near Vale Street in Henrico County, Virginia.
Two of the individuals who were hit by Rogers’ vehicle testified in court on Monday. According to prosecutors, a cyclist named Richard Sebastian was struck by Rogers’ truck. He was carrying water and other aid equipment for protesters and had stopped for a drink of water when he noticed Rogers revving his engine.
“He looked very determined,” said Sebastian during his testimony. His was struck by Rogers’ truck while on his bicycle, and his foot was run over by the vehicle.
Another demonstrator named Mary Repole was struck by the truck two times and says her chronic back pain has worsened as a result. Repole said that on one of the occasions she jumped on top of the vehicle in attempt to avoid being dragged underneath of it.
Some of the protesters drew comparisons between Rogers’ actions at the June 7 demonstration and the 2017 Charlottesville rally during which a counter-protester was killed by a white nationalist who drove his car into a crowd.
Witnesses said Rogers exited his vehicle at one point, showing off his pistol while his teenage son remained in the car. Upon searching Rogers’ home, police also found an assault-style rifle, a vest, and extended magazine clips and ammunition.
A “green grand dragon robe,” among other forms of memorabilia, link Rogers to the KKK. A document found in Rogers’ home called “The Practice of Klanishness” underscored his adherence to white supremacist ideology.
Henrico County Commonwealth’s Attorney Shannon Taylor said Rogers was a Klan leader by his own admission.
After the incident, Rogers bragged in a video about his actions. “They scattered like cockroaches,” Rogers said in the video posted to Facebook. “It’s kind of funny if you ask me.”
Because all three of the victims struck by the video are white, Judge Thomas O. Bondurant Jr believes they were not targeted because of their race, and Rogers was not charged with a hate crime.