Po­lice ar­rest sus­pect in protest shoot­ing

Video shows man fir­ing hand­gun, yelling racial slur

The Commercial Appeal - - Front Page -


A 52-year-old Bal­ti­more man who al­legedly fired a gun in a crowd at the white su­prem­a­cist rally in Char­lottesville, Vir­ginia, ear­lier this month has been ar­rested by po­lice.

Char­lottesville po­lice iden­ti­fied Richard Wil­son Pre­ston as the man seen in a video pub­lished Satur­day by the ACLU of Vir­ginia, ac­cord­ing to CNN. In it, a man walking among pro­test­ers and coun­ter­protesters at the city’s Eman­ci­pa­tion Park draws a pis­tol and fires amid the crowd. Be­fore do­ing so, the man, sport­ing a ban­dana and a tac­ti­cal vest, ap­pears to yell, “Hey, (N-word)!”

In 2013, a ban­dana-sport­ing Bal­ti­more-area man named Richard Pre­ston served as a Klu Klux Klan im­pe­rial wiz­ard, ar­gu­ing that the KKK was not racist but sim­ply wanted to “stop Barack Obama,” as he said at a county meet­ing that year. He wore a white hood in the ap­pear­ance.

“We’re go­ing to do this all over Amer­ica non­stop,” he said at the meet­ing. “We’re not go­ing to stop.”

The Pre­ston ar­rested Satur­day now faces a charge of dis­charg­ing a firearm within 1,000 feet of a school, ac­cord­ing to CNN — a felony that could lead to 10 years in prison.

Pre­ston was be­ing held at the Bal­ti­more County De­ten­tion Cen­ter af­ter his ar­rest in Mary­land, the Bal­ti­more Sun re­ported, fol­low­ing a fugi­tive war­rant is­sued in Vir­ginia.

Pre­ston ap­par­ently worked as a main­te­nance man at an all­girls school in Bal­ti­more from 1996 to 2001, ac­cord­ing to the Sun. On Sun­day, the Bryn Mawr School is­sued a state­ment con­demn­ing Pre­ston’s al­leged ties and ac­tions as “ha­tred” and “racism.”

The ACLU handed over its footage of the Char­lottesville in­ci­dent to the FBI on Aug. 17, dis­tribut­ing it to state and lo­cal au­thor­i­ties in the fol­low­ing days, the news­pa­per re­ported. At­tempts by news or­ga­ni­za­tions to reach Pre­ston on Sun­day proved un­suc­cess­ful.

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