On Saturday (October 14), police arrested Corey Long—the Black man photographed wielding a flamethrower in front of white nationalists during a rally in Charlottesville, Va.—on charges of assault and battery and disorderly conduct.
Nevermind the fact that law enforcement did next to nothing as violence erupted during that horrific weekend. Nevermind the fact that it took weeks to arrest Daniel Borden, Alex Michael Ramos, and Jacob Goodwin in the brutal beating of DeAndre Harris. Long, who reportedly stated he was acting in self defense after a white supremacist pointed a gun at his head and then shot a bullet toward his feet, was put in cuffs for protecting his life.
“Getting arrested is no dishonor if you are standing up against hatred and injustice,” Malik Zulu Shabazz—one of Long’s attorneys, president of Black Lawyers for Justice, and former national chairman of the New Black Panther Party—wrote on Facebook. “Getting shot while on the battlefield is sometimes a necessary reality if you are a true soldier operating against enemy fire in enemy territory.”
According to Charlottesville police spokesperson Lt. Stephen Upman, Long’s disorderly conduct charge came as a result of his makeshift flamethrower, while his assault and battery charge came from a separate incident during the “Unite the Right” rally the same day.
Long was arrested one day after Harris was taken into custody for “unlawful wounding” on Thursday.
“It’s very upsetting,” S. Lee Merritt, one of Harris’ attorneys, said following the issuance of his arrest warrant last week. “It seems the judicial system in this case has bent over backwards to further assist in further victimizing DeAndre.”
Meanwhile, the Nationalist Socialist Movement—the white supremacist organization that was the driving force behind Charlottesville’s deadly “Unite the Right” rally—is planning to come together for a “White Lives Matter” rally in Shelbyville, Tenn.
And while Matthew Heimback, leader of the Traditionalist Worker Party, says the march is “an exciting opportunity,” what we know from the way law enforcement has dealt with Long, Harris, and the events surrounding Charlottesville, it is sure to result in further injustice for Black and brown people.