Corey Long, the black man who wielded a makeshift flamethrower against white supremacists during the Unite The Right rally that took place in Charlottesville, Virginia, two months ago, has been arrested.
Long was charged with assault and battery and disorderly conduct on Friday. According to Charlottesville police spokesman Lieutenant Stephen Upman, the disorderly conduct charge is for the makeshift flamethrower and the assault and battery charge is for a separate altercation that took place during the rally.
Long was released on an unsecured bond Friday and referred all questions to his attorney, Malik Zulu Shabazz, national president of Black Lawyers for Justice and former national chairman of the New Black Panther Party. In a report from the Los Angeles Times, Shabazz did not provide a comment on Long’s arrest but did say he would be at his court hearing Tuesday. Following his release Long shared the following post by Shabazz:
“Getting arrested is no dishonor if you are standing up against hatred and injustice. Getting shot while on the battlefield is sometimes a necessary reality if you are a true soldier operating against enemy fire in enemy territory.”
Long said he used the makeshift flamethrower as a means of self-defense and was protecting an old man sitting next to him.
“At first it was a peaceful protest,” Long said in an interview with the Root. “Until someone pointed a gun at my head. Then the same person pointed it at my foot and shot the ground.”
Richard Wilson Preston, the man who fired a weapon in Long’s direction, was arrested and charged with discharging a firearm within 1,000 feet of a school. Preston faces up to 10 years in prison if charged.
Long is the second black counter protestor from Charlottesville to be arrested recently. Deandre Harris, who was viciously attacked by several white supremacists, was arrested for “unlawful wounding” on Thursday.
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