Charlottesville Unite the Right Trial Begins Monday | WJHL

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WRIC) – The Charlottesville Unite the Right trial is scheduled to begin Monday, four years after the infamous protest that killed Heather Heyer.

Jury selection is scheduled to begin Oct. 25, in the federal lawsuit against the 2017 rally organizers. The trial is taking place in Charlottesville and is expected to last four weeks.

It’s hard to forget the images of white supremacists marching with tiki torches, rallying through town and a car driving through a crowd, killing counter-protester Heather Heyer and injuring others.

“This case was brought by nine members of the Charlottesville community who were injured in the violence 4 years ago,” said Amy Spitalnick, executive director of Integrity First for America.

The non-partisan, non-profit organization is backing the plaintiffs in what is the first major civil lawsuit to be tried under the so-called Ku Klux Klan law. Organizers of the Unite the Right rally are accused of conspiracy to commit violence.

“These defendants planned the violence on social media and other communication forums and even in-person conversations,” Spitalnick said. “They went to Charlottesville, committed this violence and then celebrated this violence. “

Some of the two dozen defendants in the case alleged it was their first amendment to the right to free speech, and others claimed they were just kidding. Spitalnick says the event in Charlottesville 4 years ago was neither a joke nor an accident.

“But rather meticulously planned, online, in social media discussions and other communications that will come out during the trial,” she said. “We have 5.3 terabytes of digital evidence for our team to present. “

All of this evidence is part of the reason why the trial is expected to last four weeks. The other part is simply the number of parties involved in the case. All nine plaintiffs are scheduled to appear and there are 24 defendants in the federal case.

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