In a scene that combines the maddening frustration of a Franz Kafka or Joseph Heller novel — mixed with the naked racism of a Bull Connor or Joe Arpaio autobiography — a black man got beat up by neo-Nazis in Charlottesville… and then he got charged with felony assault.
DeAndre Harris, who was shown on video being savagely beaten by a mob of white supremacists, was issued an arrest warrant by a local magistrate under the pretense that Harris injured one of his attackers — a man named Harold Ray Crews.
Maybe Crews threw out his back while beating Harris with wooden sticks. Maybe he pulled a groin while he was repeatedly kicking Harris as he lay on the ground. That’s a question for the magistrate, whom Crews apparently turned to when the actual police refused to issue a warrant for Harris.
This situation, while maddening, happens all too frequently — and you don’t have to read Kafka or Catch-22 to see such examples.
It happens when accused defendants — often accused African American defendants like Harris — go to jail before being convicted and are kept there unless they can pay bond, which they often can’t pay due to lost wages from being in jail.
It happens when individuals marching for social justice are falsely slandered as paid protestors, and then no one less than the current Vice President of the United States unapologetically “protests” on the taxpayers’ dime.
It happens when an elderly man gets shot in the face by a different vice president, and he’s the one who has to apologize!
It remains to be seen whether a court will deem Harold Ray Crews a valid plaintiff against the man he beat up. If so, it’ll mark another chapter in the ongoing horror film that keeps spooling out of Charlottesville.
Kafka and Bull Connor can co-direct.