CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – The week begins with the deposition testimony of Vanguard America leader Dillon Hopper.
He is not a defendant in the case and was not present at the August 12, 2017 rally. However, he was able to give background on the organization, its players, and their connections to one another. Evidence was also admitted regarding his reaction to Fields driving through a crowd of protesters.
He wrote on social media, “Commies died. That’s good enough for me.” And when asked about Heather Heyer who was killed he said it was “kind of like a surfer who goes into the ocean. . .he shouldn’t be surprised if he gets attacked by a shark.” Hopper considered all the counter-protesters to be communists.
The next witness for the plaintiffs was defendant Michael Tubbs, Chief of Staff for League of the South, a group of Southern/white nationalists. Tubbs corroborated co-defendant Michael Hill’s testimony in large part; he agreed with Hill that one facet of the group’s mission was to return the South to the Jim Crow era. As for the rally, he was present and helped organize his group.
Tubbs insisted his group was defending themselves from Antifa but was confronted with an email of him admitting he may have hoped for violence and assumed there would be violence. He also said of the event: “proudest moment of my life on the streets of Charlottesville that day.” Tubbs claims he was injured by counter-protesters telling the jury he was repeatedly struck in the head, hit by thrown objects, pepper spray.
Marissa Blair was the next witness to testify for the plaintiffs. She was protesting when defendant Fields drove his car through the crowd. She was saved from being hit by the car when her fiancé, plaintiff Marcus Martin, pushed her out of the way.
She was unaware of what Antifa was during the rally.
Following Blair, the jury heard from Vanguard America’s social media manager and spokesperson, Thomas Rousseau. Despite his planning and presence at the rally, he is not a defendant in this case.