Excellent job by Henrico County Commonwealth’s Attorney Shannon Taylor (D) – also a widely rumored possible candidate for Virginia Attorney General in 2021 – on CNN Monday night, talking about the Virginia “KKK President” who drove his truck into a groupd of Black Lives Matter marchers Sunday evening in Henrico County. As Taylor says to Don Lemon (see video, below), who mangles her title by the way:
- “Right now, we have our witnesses who have described Mr. Rogers driving his vehicle in what was an erratic manner, approaching the peaceful protesters who were walking along the road, and when he gets to the back of the group, he stops the car, but then he revs that engine, the proceeds to move forward…struck the victim’s bike and injured [her].”
- Asked about Rogers’ KKK involvement and racist ideology, Taylor said: “It’s not just 2013, we’ve documented in 2014, as well as…2017 in Charlottesville…and now….When we talk about how this speaks to this racist ideology, this is an individual who is devoted to this ideology…self-proclaimed being a high-ranking official and appears to be very proud of that.”
- Asked about whether hate crimes charges will be brought, Taylor responds: “When we all hear the word ‘hate crime’, we all know that this is criminal actions that one is taking upon somebody merely because of their skin [color] or their religious practice or sexual orientation, and we of course have to believe that someone has to have hate in their heart to do that. But when we talk about the legal idea of what hate crimes are, we will be looking at the definition with the code of Virginia and to see if we can fit the facts from all of the witnesses there…in addition to Mr. Rogers’ own statement, to see if fit those elements of the crime. And if we are able to do that, we will be charging.”
Good stuff. By the way, here’s how the Code of Virginia defines “hate crimes.” Since Rogers apparently drove into a crowd of mostly white people, albeit white people marching in support of Black Lives Matter, the question appears to be whether the Code of Virginia applies. Of course, even if the courts aren’t open to hate crimes charges, there might be other charges – federal? terrorism? – that could be brought against this “KKK President.” Fortunately, we’ve got a super-sharp Commonwealth’s Attorney, Shannon Taylor, on the case!
“C. For purposes of this section, “hate crime” means (i) a criminal act committed against a person or his property with the specific intent of instilling fear or intimidation in the individual against whom the act is perpetrated because of race, religion or ethnic origin or that is committed for the purpose of restraining that person from exercising his rights under the Constitution or laws of this Commonwealth or of the United States, (ii) any illegal act directed against any persons or their property because of those persons’ race, religion or national origin, and (iii) all other incidents, as determined by law-enforcement authorities, intended to intimidate or harass any individual or group because of race, religion or national origin.”