Charlottesville Neo-Nazi Trial Won’t Move Over Violence Fear

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Right-wing organizers of the deadly 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, failed to convince a judge that the October trial in a lawsuit against them should be moved because it might have a “punch-a-Nazi” vibe.

Keeping the trial in Charlottesville will be more convenient for witnesses, and all parties have time to ensure the proceeding is conducted in a safe manner, U.S. District Judge Norman K. Moon ruled Friday.

Defendants including the White nationalist group Identity Evropa and the neo-Nazi Traditionalist Worker’s Party had asked to move the trial out of fear police will allow violent protesters to attack them with impunity.

“The Court finds that the interests of justice factor continues to support holding this trial in Charlottesville rather than transferring it, so that the trial may take place in the community most directly affected by the Unite the Right rally,” Moon said.

Lawyer Roberta Kaplan, who filed the lawsuit on behalf of students, faith leaders and other locals who were physically and emotionally injured in the riot, said she was pleased by Moon’s decision.

“At the time nearly four years ago, all of our plaintiffs lived, worked or studied in Charlottesville,” she said, “many still do, all of them still have friends and family in the Charlottesville area, and Charlottesville - of course - is where the relevant events took place. We look forward to trying this case before a jury this fall.”

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