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Man Who Fired Weapon At Charlottesville Counterprotesters Identified as Ku Klux Klan Imperial Wizard

A man arrested for firing a pistol at counterprotesters during the “United the Right” rally in Virginia earlier this month has been identified as the Imperial Wizard of the Confederate White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.

Richard Preston, 52, was arrested after a video, filmed by the ACLU of Virginia, caught him firing a pistol at counterprotesters. In the video, Preston is seen drawing his pistol and shouting, “Hey, n*****,” then walking toward the crowd, lowering his gun toward the ground and firing before walking away. There were no reports of injuries from the gunshot.

Preston was charged last weekend with discharging a firearm within 1,000 feet of a school, a felony that carries up to 10 years in prison. His arrest brings the total number of people facing charges from the August 12 rally, held in Emancipation Park in Charlottesville, Virginia, to four, including James Alex Fields, who was arrested after plowing his car into a group of protesters. One person, Heather Heyer, was killed and 35 others were injured.

Fields is charged with second-degree murder, malicious wounding and failure to stop in an accident that resulted in death. He is scheduled to appear in Charlottesville General District Court on December 14.

Two other men were charged for violent crimes related to the "Unite the Right" rally. Daniel Patrick Borden, 18, and Alex Michael Ramos, 33, were charged with "malicious wounding" in connection with an assault at the rally. Borden was arrested Friday. Ramos remains at large.

Photo courtesy of ACLU of Virginia


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