Seventeen white nationalist leaders and organizations were ordered by a jury on Tuesday to compensate damages worth $26 million over the chaos that emerged during the fatal Unite the Right protest in Charlottesville in 2017.
The U.S. District Court impasse on a couple of important claims after about a month of civil trial. However, they found that white nationalists are responsible for four other claims in a complaint raised by nine individuals who sustained physical and emotional wounds during the two-day rally, AP News reported.
The complainants’ lawyers intend to file the suit again, Attorney Roberta Kaplan said, so another jury can rule on the blocked claims. Kaplan said the payment for damages was “eye opening.”
“That sends a loud message,” Kaplan exclaimed.
While the verdict was mixed, it serves as censure to the white nationalist movement, specifically for the 24 persons and groups allegedly in a federal lawsuit of planning violence against Jews, African Americans and others in a conspiracy.
An appeal to the decision was promised by White national leader Richard Spencer who said the “entire theory of that verdict is fundamentally flawed.”
Spencer said that the complainants’ legal representatives explained prior to the trial that they intend to use the case to leave him and other defendants penniless.
“It was activism by means of lawsuits, and that is absolutely outrageous,” Spencer said. “I’m doing fine right now because I had kind of accepted in my heart the worst that could happen. I had hope, of course, but I’m not terribly surprised or crestfallen.”
A unanimous verdict on two key claims according to the long-standing federal law approved after the Civil War were not reached by the jurors. The said law aims to protect civil rights of freed slaves, as well as shield them from violence.