Virginia’s Double Standards for Justice

Mugshots of nine of the George Floyd protesters and/or rioters arrested in Richmond last year.

by James A. Bacon

Twenty-year-old Manny Wilder has been sentenced to three years in prison for chasing a group of Black Lives Matter protesters in Virginia Beach with a hatchet, yelling the N-word, and driving towards the group in a pickup truck. He didn’t actually hurt anyone, but prosecutors charged him with four misdemeanors, including reckless driving, abusive language, disturbing the peace, and disorderly conduct.

“He was out there yelling that word while wielding a hatchet,” said a Virginia Beach judge, according to the Virginian-Pilot. Wilder appeared to be “full of hatred,” he added. “We can not tolerate hatred in the community.”

Fair enough. Such behavior should not be tolerated. Wilder got what he deserved.

How about the hundreds of other protesters and rioters who were arrested during the wave of unrest that swept Virginia last summer? You know, the ones who yelled abusive language, disturbed the peace, engaged in disorderly conducts, and oh, by the way sprayed graffiti, overturned cars, set buildings on fire, and assaulted police? Did they get what they deserved?

Mike Dickinson, a flamboyant but unsuccessful candidate for Richmond City Council last year, has been keeping track of prosecutions and convictions arising from the demonstrations/riots in the City of Richmond. Bottom line: 70% of the 346 cases have been dropped. A half year later, only 59 of those charged have been found guilty of misdemeanors or felonies. By his count, only seven have received jail time, but the time was suspended for four and two others are appealing.

Here’s his summary:

The cases were compiled by checking each individual case and manually extracting the data from the Virginia Courts website. For details view his report here. The data was last updated Tuesday.

Most Richmond protest prosecution cases involved violations of the Governor’s Executive Order instituting a curfew, but some charges included crimes as severe as assaulting a police officer, assault & battery, brandishing firearms, arson, and inciting riot.

Does it look like there are two standards of justice — one one for right-wing agitators and one for left-wing agitators? Yeah, it looks like there could be.

Has the established media reported any of this data? No, it hasn’t.

If Virginians want to know the full truth about what’s going on, and not just the blinkered version presented by mainstream media, citizens need to take matters into our own hands. Kudos to Dickinson for the research he’s done. And thanks for sharing with Bacon’s Rebellion.