Social media is helping track down the white supremacists responsible for brutally assaulting a counterprotester in Charlottesville.
Per a New York Times report, Daniel P. Borden, one of the multiple assailants who attacked 20-year-old Deandre Harris during the infamous “Unite the Right” rally on August 12 has been arrested. Police have also issued a wanted poster for Alex Michael Ramos, another man sought in connection to the crime. Both have face charges of malicious wounding.
As Harris’ attorney S. Lee Merritt told the New York Times, the men responsible for his client’s assault — video of which was disseminated across social media on and after August 12 — have been identified largely thanks to journalist and activist Shaun King of the New York Daily News.
Shortly after video of Harris’ assault hit social media, King began sharing photos of the assailants in hopes that others on Twitter might have clues as to their identities. These posts helped identify Borden and Ramos, and King is still working to identify the other assailants, even vetting suspects personally before releasing names.
In a tweet posted Sunday, King said police officials have told himself and Merritt that they are relying on the activist’s Twitter account to identify the other assailants. In the days after the violence in Charlottesville, local police faced criticism for failing to stop violence at the hands of white supremacists.
King isn’t the only one whose leveraged his sizable social following to identify white supremacists the wake of the violent rally— Logan Smith of @YesYoureRacist also tweeted photos of rally protesters in hopes of learning their identities. He successfully identified Peter Cvjetanovic, a student; and Cole White, who lost his job at a hot dog joint shortly after.
And as the New York Times reports, Richard W. Preston, a reported Ku Klux Klan member, was arrested after the ACLU of Virginia captured video of the man firing a gun in the direction of a counterprotester.