Moments ago, the jury returned its verdict in our Charlottesville trial. We won -- and violent hate lost.
Every single defendant in this case was found liable for at least one count. The jury imposed millions of dollars in damages on the neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and hate groups responsible for the Unite the Right violence.
As our country confronts a crisis of white supremacist violence and growing threats to our democracy, this case has sent a powerful message:
We are not powerless against the rising tide of hate. Those who’d engage in political violence and racist intimidation are on notice that they will face real consequences. They will be held accountable.
We’ve worked toward this moment for so long, and there are so many who share in this victory.
First and foremost, the nine incredible plaintiffs whose lives were upended by the violence in 2017 and bravely joined this lawsuit -- and relived their trauma, over and over again -- to ensure that those responsible were held accountable: April Muñiz, Chelsea Alvarado, Devin Willis, Elizabeth Sines, Marcus Martin, Marissa Blair, Natalie Romero, Reverend Seth Wispelwey, and Thomas Baker.
This victory also belongs to the people of Charlottesville, in particular those who stood up against the forces of hate and violence that descended on their city. In the aftermath, those counterprotesters were falsely and outrageously equated with the Nazis who attacked them.
This verdict makes clear that what happened in Charlottesville was not an accident, or a clash between two sides -- but, rather, a deliberate plan by white supremacist extremists to attack those who stood up to their hate.
It certainly could not have happened without the vision and resolve of our incredible legal team who built and litigated this landmark case over four long years. We are enormously grateful for their partnership and their tireless work in the face of countless challenges.
And of course, it could not have happened without you -- our supporters and partners who’ve helped spread the word, fund this lawsuit and critical security measures, and provided moral support and encouragement throughout this long and difficult journey.
Even before trial, you helped us achieve major victories that hampered America’s most notorious extremists and hate groups, made it harder for them to recruit, and led many of the defendants to complain about the devastating financial and operational impacts of our case. Every defendant in this case was made to face significant consequences for their role in the Charlottesville attack.
And with today's verdict, these extremists will face even more severe consequences.
This matters because of the crucial need for accountability -- and also because these consequences can deter other extremists from participating in similar violence. And that is enormously important.
Now, a new chapter of our work begins. From the moment our lawsuit was filed, the defendants in this case used every trick in the book to evade accountability. They’re unlikely to stop now. We are committed to collecting on the damages awarded today and ensuring that the defendants are fully held to account. We’ll need your help in that pursuit.
But that’s for tomorrow. Today, we hope you’ll take a moment to celebrate the historic legal victory that you made possible.
With overflowing gratitude,
Executive Director, Integrity First for America