The KKK leader identified by police as the man who fired a gun into a crowd of counter-protesters at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia was arrested on August 28.
The man, identified as Maryland resident Richard Wilson Preston, has been charged with discharging a firearm within 1,000 feet of a school – a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison. He is being held at the Baltimore County Detention Center, reported the Baltimore Sun.
Mr Preston, 52, has been identified in news reports as an imperial wizard of the Ku Klux Klan chapter in Maryland.
A video tweeted by the ACLU of Virginia shows a white-haired man descending the steps of Emancipation Park, where the rally was held. He passes by a group of counter-protestors, some of whom yell at the rally attendees to “go home”. One counter-protestor appears to throw an object at them.
Mr Preston turns to the crowd and draws his weapon, yelling, “Hey n*****!” Someone in the crowd warns others to get down.
The man lowers his weapon, then raises it again and appears to fire one shot into the crowd. As he walks away, someone in the crowd yells: “That was a gunshot!”
WATCH: Man fired at another person in Charlottesville on Aug. 12. We handed ? to LE agencies. The man has been arrested & charged w a crime. pic.twitter.com/0vrXq4zNC0
— ACLU of Virginia (@ACLUVA) August 26, 2017
The video also shows Virginia State Police troopers standing about 50 feet away, and they do nothing when the shot rings out.
Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller told CNN the officers say they did not witness the incident or hear the gunshot.
“Had any one of our troopers witnessed that incident, they would have immediately acted just as they did for the other four arrests made during the weekend,” she said.
The ACLU said they discovered the footage while reviewing photos and videos from the rally. They handed it over to to the FBI on 17 August, and to local police several days later.
In 2013, a man who identified himself as Richard Preston attended a community meeting in Cecil County, Maryland, as part of an attempt by the group repair their image.
At the meeting, Mr Preston said that the KKK was not a hate group, and had been falsely labelled as such. He said that the group only wanted to take back their country, which they felt was on the wrong path. He promised to continue speaking out about the Klan at community meetings.
“We’re going to do this all over America nonstop,” Mr Preston said. “We’re not going to stop. We need to save America.”
(Article By James Carter)