Jeff Sessions says it would be 'healthy' to have 'more competition' among medical marijuana growers for research

Jeff Sessions

  • Attorney General Jeff Sessions wants to expand the supply of medical marijuana grown for research
  • He is wary of expanding the program too much 
  • Orrin Hatch, a Utah Republican, co-sponsored a bill to increase access to medical marijuana 

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he wants to see “more competition” among medical marijuana growers who supply the plant to researchers, in his Wednesday morning testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee. 

Sen. Orrin Hatch, the Utah Republican, asked Sessions to “clarify” the Justice Department’s position on applications from private companies and research institutions to supply researchers with medical-grade marijuana. 

I think it would be healthy to have some more competition in the supply but I’m sure we don’t need 26 new suppliers,” Sessions said.

Hatch, while maintaining that he is opposed to the “broad legalization,” of marijuana, said he believes “scientists need to study the potential benefits and risks of marijuana.”

The Drug Enforcement Administration — which dictates the legal status of controlled substances — announced last year that it planned to increase the supply of medical marijuana available to researchers, potentially paving the way for the Food and Drug Administration to approve a non-synthetic marijuana-based drug.

Prior to the DEA’s ruling, the only supply of marijuana available to researchers was grown at a facility at the University of Mississippi, and many complained that the marijuana was low-quality. 

medical marijuana

Hatch co-sponsored a piece of bipartisan legislation, the MEDS Act, which is designed to improve the process for conducting research on medical marijuana and would direct the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to develop best practices for growing medical-grade cannabis. 

Sessions, however, said today he wants a limited expansion of this program, saying that he doesn’t want the Justice Department to greenlight all 26 applications, and raised questions about how much it would cost the DEA to oversee the operations.

“Each one of those has to be supervised by the DEA, and I have raised questions about how many and let’s be sure we’re doing this in the right way because it costs a lot of money to supervise these,” Sessions said. 

Marijuana, both medicinal and recreational, is considered an illegal Schedule 1 drug by the federal government. 29 states, however, have legalized some form of medical marijuana and allow doctors to prescribe the drug to patients.

The Justice Department’s approach to medical marijuana is governed by a congressional rider, the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment, that disallows the department from spending money to prosecute medical marijuana operations that comply with state law, though it’s not yet clear whether Congress will renew the amendment. 

Sessions has hinted at a crackdown on the nascent recreational marijuana industry in recent months. 

SEE ALSO: Top Republican senator introduces a medical marijuana research bill, says it’s ‘high time’ to address in pun-filled statement

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Federal judge in Hawaii blocks Trump's 3rd travel ban hours before it was going to take effect

  • donald trumpA federal judge in Hawaii put a temporary, nationwide suspension on the third iteration of President Donald Trump’s travel ban.
  • People from Iran, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Chad, and Libya will be able to continue to visit the US.
  • The Trump administration has already said it will appeal the judge’s ruling, paving the way for a potential Supreme Court showdown in the future.

A federal judge in Hawaii on Tuesday granted a temporary restraining order against President Donald Trump’s third travel ban, just hours before it was set to take effect at midnight on October 18.

Trump issued a proclamation last month restricting travel to the US from nationals of eight countries, including Iran, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Venezuela, Chad, Libya, and North Korea.

Those restrictions came after the first two iterations of the travel ban, which targeted majority-Muslim nations, faced court challenges.

Trump’s second travel ban was partly implemented, and the Supreme Court was scheduled to hear arguments on its constitutionality in October.

But the justices removed oral arguments from the schedule after part of the second ban expired and Trump issued the third ban as a replacement in September. The third ban will likely make its way to the Supreme Court, as well, though it must go through the appellate court system first. Another federal court is also expected to rule on the ban in a separate legal challenge.

Almost immediately after Watson issued the temporary restraining order on Tuesday, the Department of Justice announced it would appeal the ruling.

“Today’s ruling is incorrect, fails to properly respect the separation of powers, and has the potential to cause serious negative consequences for our national security,” the department said in a statement.

The White House said in a separate statement that the ban was vital for “the integrity of our immigration system and the security of our nation.”

“Today’s dangerously flawed district court order undercuts the president’s efforts to keep the American people safe and enforce minimum security standards for entry into the United States,” the statement said.

As the plaintiffs only sought to challenge the ban as it pertained to majority-Muslim countries, they did not include in their lawsuit the restrictions on travel from Venezuelan government officials or North Koreans. The ban will therefore take effect against those countries starting Wednesday.

Blocking the third ban

san francisco airport protest immigration travel banUS District Court Judge Derrick Watson wrote in a 40-page opinion on Tuesday that Trump’s third travel ban would cause “irreparable harm” and violate federal immigration law were it to take effect.

“[The travel ban] suffers from precisely the same maladies as its predecessor: it lacks sufficient findings that the entry of more than 150 million nationals from six specified countries would be ‘detrimental to the interests of the United States,'” Watson wrote, adding that the ban “plainly discriminates based on nationality.”

Trump’s newest proclamation, issued on September 24, replaced the outright ban with travel restrictions tailored on a country-by-country basis, depending on whether or not they met certain US standards.

Unlike the previous travel bans, the third version did away with the original 90-day suspension on admitting travelers from the named countries. Instead, the new ban would have issued permanent travel restrictions that could be expanded or retracted based on the countries’ compliance with US standards.

Watson also ruled that Trump’s proclamation contained “internal incoherencies that markedly undermine its stated ‘national security’ rationale,” because many other countries that were not named in the ban also fail to meet one or more of the US’s standards.

For instance, Watson noted, Iraq is excluded from the ban purportedly because of diplomatic ties to the US and its “commitment” to fighting ISIS, but fails Trump’s “baseline” security assessment.

“Under the law of this Circuit, these provisions do not afford the President unbridled discretion to do as he pleases,” Watson said, calling the proclamation “simultaneously overbroad and underinclusive.”

trump travel ban airport

Watson noted in his opinion that the plaintiffs argued that Trump “never renounced or repudiated his calls for a ban on Muslim immigration.” The plaintiffs argued that Trump’s calls for a full-throated ban have only grown more steady as time went on, Watson noted.

Watson’s opinion even cited several of Trump’s tweets from early June, in which the president railed against the legal challenges to his initial travel ban, complaining that the Department of Justice had created a “watered down, politically correct version” in an effort to appease the Supreme Court.

“People, the lawyers and the courts can call it whatever they want, but I am calling it what we need and what it is, a TRAVEL BAN!” Trump wrote in another tweet, which Watson also cited in his opinion.

On Tuesday, Neal Katyal, one of the lawyers representing the plaintiffs, celebrated Watson’s ruling. “We have just won,” Katyal tweeted.

The American Civil Liberties Union, which has sued the Trump administration over all three travel bans, also tweeted about the ruling, saying, “We’re glad but not surprised, to be honest.”

Read the full order below:

SEE ALSO: Trump renews travel ban with restrictions targeting new countries

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Amid a cocaine boom in Colombia, a deeper problem is emerging

Tumaco Colombia coca violence

  • Colombia’s cocaine trade and organized-crime groups are resurgent.
  • That activity raises concerns about the country’s struggling peace process.
  • Economic uncertainty and ongoing violence also pose a threat to marginalized communities.

On October 5, a standoff between a Colombian coca-eradication team and hundreds of farmers ended with several farmers dead and hundreds wounded.

The incident appears to be the most violent action by Colombian security forces against civilians in some time and underscores the burden Colombia faces in the overlapping challenges of spiking cocaine production, demobilizing left-wing rebels, and confronting powerful criminal groups.

The incident took place in Tumaco, an isolated municipality in southwest Colombia’s Nariño state, where security forces arrived in late September to begin manual eradication of coca, from which cocaine is made.

People in the area gathered to protect their fields and protest the security forces’ presence. On October 5, farmers and security forces were in the middle of a multiday standoff in a rural area of Tumaco.

Several hundred unarmed civilians were reportedly gathered around security forces in a coca field, forming a human chain to halt their eradication efforts. According to one witness, the farmers and officers had agreed to negotiations when police opened fire with rifles and stun grenades.

“And in that exact moment they started shooting indiscriminately,” an eyewitness told Colombia Reports. “They gave us everything they had. It was horrible.”

Tumaco Colombia violence coca

Officials accounts listed six dead, with another person dying a day later. Most accounts reported dozens of people wounded.

The Colombian defense ministry initially said that security forces fired in response to bombs and machine-gun fire from what it said were dissident members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, a left-wing rebel group that agreed to demobilize and reintegrate.

Witnesses denied the government’s account, saying no FARC dissidents were there and that police opened fire. A report this week said those killed were shot from behind by rifles firing 5.56 mm rounds, and while security forces use that caliber, officials now say that some of their rifles were stolen, leaving doubt about who may have fired. Investigators next plan to interview police, soldiers, and farmers involved.

On October 9 — a day after Colombian police fired on a humanitarian mission in the area investigating the incident — Colombia’s police force suspended four officers who fired into the crowd on October 5.

Colombia Juan Manuel Santos Oscar Naranjo

The same day, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said the incident was “regrettable” and promised a thorough investigation.

Vice President Oscar Naranjo, who traveled to Tumaco after the initial violence, also said, “The immense majority of the testimony signals the police as responsible,” though he suggested the scene could have been tampered with.

On October 10, the Colombian defense minister announced that 102 national police officers in the Tumaco area would be assigned to other parts of the country.

‘Grave danger’

Colombia has seen a profound increase in cocaine production in recent years, and Tumaco has led the way.

According to UN data, during 2016, Tumaco had more than 57,000 acres of coca under cultivation, more than half the 105,000 acres recorded in Nariño, which produces nearly 30% of Colombia’s coca. During the first quarter of 2017, Colombian authorities seized 32.8 metric tons of cocaine in Tumaco alone — one-third of the national total.

In Tumaco, like other marginalized areas of the country, coca production and the drug trade have taken root in part because other economic activities are unviable.

“The Pacific coast more broadly has been imagined and treated as an area of racial, ethnic, and social difference, so it’s not just marginalized in sort of the lived physical sense of the kinds of services it’s getting from the government, but in the ways it’s represented in the Colombian imagination,” Robert Karl, a professor of Latin American history at Princeton, told Business Insider.

Colombia Tumaco coca crops cocaine eradication

Its proximity to Ecuador and location on the coast, as well as its isolated rivers and mangroves, have made Tumaco amenable to drug traffickers, who have operated there for decades. Those circumstances, Karl said, have “amplified the government’s tendency to treat the region … with a heavier hand.”

Southwest Colombia became a priority for the government in the wake of the 2016 peace deal with the FARC. As a part of the deal, the FARC agreed to exit the drug trade and the government agreed to help communities that relied on coca transition to new crops and activities.

The peace accord addressed the state’s obligations to rural and provincial residents, which was one of the central aims of the agreement, “but at the same time,” Karl said, “that same issue has been at the center of critiques of the accord” and how it has been implemented.

An economic downturn as well as the government’s lack of progress on important peace initiatives, like crop-substitution programs that farmers in the region agreed to, have exacerbated problems there. Recent US pressure on the Colombian government address the spike in cocaine production has also complicated the situation.

Colombia Narino Tumaco coca cocaine eradication

“With the voluntary-substitution program, there’s a sense that the government isn’t carrying through with its commitments,” Karl told Business Insider. Some who’ve signed up for the programs say they’ve seen their coca crops destroyed while getting nothing in return.

“They don’t have the money to support us and the pressure to continue [growing coca] is fierce,” an Afro-Colombian community leader told The Guardian, adding that council leaders were getting death threats for taking part in in the programs. Farmers in the region have faced threats for taking part, and armed groups have pressured residents to join anti-eradication protests.

While it’s not clear that FARC dissidents were involved in the October 5 incident, dissident factions of the group are present there, as are members of another left-wing rebel group, the ELN, and the criminal groups Gente del Orden and Los Urabeños, the latter of which is considered the most powerful criminal group in Colombia.

Colombia Tumaco coca cocaine eradication

Their presence and competition over the coca trade has driven up violence and put a chill on economic activity.

The diocese of Tumaco said in December 2016 that the municipality had seen 29 more homicides throughout the year than during the same period in 2015.

Tumaco’s homicide rate jumped from 65 per 100,000 in 2015 to 74.5 last year, more than three times the national rate.

Drug-trafficking networks in the area put “in grave danger the life and liberty of those who have ended their involvement in those activities,” the diocese said in December.

In the days since the violence in Tumaco, some 1,500 people have been displaced from the area because of clashes between armed groups, according to the UN.

A common refrain in Colombia “is if the post-conflict period is going to work out in a positive way, it’s dependent on what happens in areas like Tumaco,” Karl said. The situation has “generated a lot of concern about how the state is not going to change its stances” toward those places.

SEE ALSO: US officials are raising alarm over Colombia’s cocaine boom, but they may be ‘missing most of the picture’

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NOW WATCH: Why the price of cocaine in America has barely moved in decades

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Here's what airlines legally owe you if you're bumped off a flight

The biggest US airlines involuntarily bumped 40,629 people in 2016According to the Department of Transportation, you are entitled to certain things if you are involuntarily bumped off a flight.

If the rescheduled flight gets you to your destination an hour late domestically or two hours late internationally, you are not entitled to any monetary compensation. After that, the window of time varies for how much money you are entitled to. But airlines can owe you up to $1,350 for a one-way ticket, and you can negotiate for more if you feel entitled.

But make sure you show up on time and have a confirmed reservation. Otherwise, you may be entitled to nothing.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This video was originally published on April 11, 2017

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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences voted to 'immediately expel' Harvey Weinstein

Harvey Weinstein

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences voted on Saturday to oust Harvey Weinstein, the Hollywood mogul who has faced dozens of accusations in recent days of sexual harassment and rape.

The Academy’s board of governors met Saturday and voted “well in excess of the required two-thirds majority to immediately expel him,” a statement said.

“We do so not simply to separate ourselves from someone who does not merit the respect of his colleagues but also to send a message that the era of willful ignorance and shameful complicity in sexually predatory behavior and workplace harassment in our industry is over,” the statement said.

“What’s at issue here is a deeply troubling problem that has no place in our society.”

The academy’s board is comprised of 54 members, including major Hollywood names such as Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, Whoopi Goldberg, and Kathleen Kennedy.

Weinstein has denied that the alleged encounters were nonconsensual, but has apologized for causing “a lot of pain” to colleagues.

The allegations came to light in several bombshell reports from The New York Times and the New Yorker, which documented multiple women’s experiences with Weinstein going back decades. Dozens of women have now stepped forward in news outlets or on social media to accuse Weinstein of sexual misconduct to varying degrees.

Most of the alleged encounters detail “business meetings” that occurred in Weinstein’s hotel suites that turned into scenes of sexual harassment or assault. These accusations stretch back as far as the 1980s and include a variety of film industry figures, including actresses, assistants, and other employees.

After the stories broke, Weinstein was fired from the Weinstein Company, which he co-founded. The British Academy of Film and Television Arts also suspended Weinstein’s membership, releasing a statement on Wednesday that called his alleged behavior “completely unacceptable and incompatible with BAFTA’s values.”

SEE ALSO: All the women who have accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment or assault

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Las Vegas sheriff chokes up recalling stories of heroism during concert massacre

las vegas police

Sheriff Joe Lombardo of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department choked up at a news conference on Friday as he described instances of heroism from his officers earlier this month during the mass shooting that left 58 dead and hundreds more injured.

One of those officers was Brady Cook, who had been working his second shift on the job, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, when the shooting occurred. Cook suffered four separate gunshot wounds to his shoulder, bicep, chest, and back, Lombardo said. Lombardo and undersheriff Kevin McMahill visited Cook and other injured officers on Thursday to check on their conditions.

“The reason why I bring this up is he asked me if he could go back to work today,” Lombardo said.

Lombardo also said he believes the police response that night saved lives by directing the gunman’s attention away from the concertgoers once officers began arriving in their vehicles.

“It is readily apparent to me that he adjusted his fire and directed it toward the police individuals,” Lombardo said. “So the responses of those individuals, I believe, saved lives.”

Another officer Lombardo named was Samuel Whitworth, who broke his leg while he was attempting to help concertgoers escape the shooting. He remained on the scene, regardless, to provide security for medical personnel still working, Lombardo said.

Lombardo also described a group of police officers who helped other first responders triage at least 50 gunshot victims, at one point even using their own equipment to control bleeding when they ran out of tourniquets.

The officers “calmly took care of the wounded and the dying” while they waited for ambulances, even placing people with more serious injuries on the backs of trucks to move them to hospitals more quickly, Lombardo said.

“Not all the victims made it out as the night wore on,” he said. “Those same officers were assigned to guard those deceased victims, not allowing any of them to be alone.”

SEE ALSO: ‘There is no conspiracy’: Las Vegas sheriff clarifies 6-minute discrepancy in massacre timeline

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'There is no conspiracy': Las Vegas sheriff clarifies 6-minute discrepancy in massacre timeline

las vegas shooting mandalay bay

Las Vegas authorities on Friday clarified some of the much-disputed timeline surrounding the mass shooting on October 1, shutting down what they called conspiracy theories that have attempted to explain a supposed six-minute gap between the first reported gunshot fired at a security guard and the massacre of dozens of concertgoers.

A timeline provided by authorities on Monday had indicated that the security guard, Jesus Campos, had been shot through the door of gunman Stephen Paddock’s Mandalay Bay suite at 9:59 p.m. that evening. This prompted confusion, as authorities had also said Paddock opened fire on the concertgoers at 10:05 p.m., at which point the hotel notified police of gunshots. Officers then arrived at Paddock’s suite at roughly 10:17 p.m., officials had said.

That timeline would have left a six-minute period between the first shot being fired at Campos and police being summoned. But on Friday, Sheriff Joe Lombardo of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said that while the information “wasn’t inaccurate” when it was provided, some of the “circumstances associated with it” had been inaccurate.

Instead, Lombardo said, Campos was not shot at 9:59. He said Campos was more likely shot closer to 10:05 — mere moments before Paddock opened fire on the crowd through the windows of his 32nd-floor suite. Lombardo said the 9:59 time stamp remains significant, however, because that was the time entered into a security log indicating when Campos had attempted to gain entry to the 32nd floor of the hotel to respond to an open-door alarm.

When Campos first attempted to enter the 32nd floor, he found a barricaded entry, forcing him to ascend to a higher floor and approach the 32nd floor from a different entry point, Lombardo said.

Campos then went to the doorway he had been dispatched to originally and was shot by Paddock, Lombardo said. Campos relayed news of the shooting via his radio and cellphone, Lombardo said.

MGM Resorts, the parent company of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, also spoke out on Thursday to deny the timeline police had given on Monday.

“The 9:59 p.m. PDT time was derived from a Mandalay Bay report manually created after the fact without the benefit of information we now have,” the company said in a statement. “We are now confident that the time stated in this report is not accurate.” 

Lombardo also assailed accusations that law enforcement officials were either covering up details of the shooting, or had been mistaken due to ineptitude.

“In the public space, the word ‘incompetence’ has been brought forward, and I am absolutely offended with that characterization,” he said, adding that investigators have compiled a daunting amount of information in an effort to understand what happened.

Lombardo said the information being analyzed includes security logs, interviews with Campos, body camera footage, hotel camera footage, dispatches from the LVMPD and the Los Angeles Police Department, and interviews from witnesses.

“Imagine bringing all of that together to provide a picture,” he said. “There is no conspiracy between the FBI, LVMPD, and the MGM. Nobody is attempting to hide anything.”

Lombardo also said that the fuel tanks that were struck by Paddock’s gunfire had been “fired upon with intent.” He added that experts in fuel storage are advising Las Vegas officials on safety protocols “out of an abundance of caution,” but there is a low probability that the gunfire could have ignited the aviation fuel.

SEE ALSO: The mysterious piece of paper found in the Las Vegas shooter’s hotel room reportedly contained target calculations

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Meet Robert Mueller, the former FBI director and tenacious investigator now leading the Trump-Russia probe

Robert Mueller

It’s been almost five months since Robert Mueller became the special counsel in the investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 elections and whether President Donald Trump’s campaign colluded with the Kremlin.

In Washington, Mueller has a reputation for being a tenacious investigator. Both Republicans and Democrats welcomed his appointment in May with bipartisan backing.

The increasing breadth of his investigation, however, has irked some Trump supporters.

Mueller’s colleagues, meanwhile, say he has proven his bipartisan bona fides over the years. After all, he served under both Republican and Democratic presidents as FBI director and as an attorney in the Department of Justice.

As the probe into Trump and his associates heats up, here’s a look at Mueller’s history:

SEE ALSO: Raids, warrants, and wiretaps: The Trump-Russia probe ‘has reached a critical stage’

DON’T MISS: Meet the all-star team of lawyers Robert Mueller has assembled for the Trump-Russia investigation

Born Robert Swan Mueller III in New York City in 1944, “Bob” grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia, the elder brother to four younger sisters. Their father was an executive at DuPont. He captained the soccer, hockey, and lacrosse teams in high school.

Sources: FBI, St. Paul’s School

Mueller went to undergrad at Princeton University, got his Master’s in international relations from New York University, and graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1973.

Source: FBI

When one of his friends died in the Vietnam War, Mueller was inspired to join the military. He had been previously pursuing a career in the medical field.

Source: Princeton Alumni Weekly


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Harvey Weinstein accuser Asia Argento just shared the movie scene she filmed based on his alleged sexual assault

Asia Argento Getty

Following the explosive story in the New York Times last week on movie producer Harvey Weinstein, The New Yorker came out with its own piece Tuesday that includes allegations of sexual assault against the disgraced movie mogul.

One of the revelations is that Weinstein allegedly performed unwanted oral sex on Italian actress-director Asia Argento in a hotel room in 1997.

“It was a nightmare,” Argento told The New Yorker.

It was a nightmare that Argento then partially dramatized in public, for all to see.

In 2000, a movie Argento wrote and directed, “Scarlet Diva,” was released. It includes a scene that’s similar to what she allegedly went through with Weinstein three years earlier.

The character Argento plays, Anna, is cornered in a hotel room by a heavyset producer who asks her for a massage and tries to assault her.

Argento said in The New Yorker story that after the movie was released, other women recognized that the producer character was a portrayal of Weinstein. 

“People would ask me about him because of the scene in the movie,” Argento said. Women also told her about similar encounters with Weinstein.

According to Argento, Weinstein — who by that time had built a friendship with Argento — saw the movie when it was released in the US and recognized himself. “Ha, ha, very funny,” Argento recounted him saying to her. But he also allegedly said that he was “sorry for whatever happened.”

Argento said there’s one major difference in the movie versus her real life experience. “In the movie I wrote,” she said, “I ran away.”

After The New Yorker story went live, Argento took to Twitter and posted the hotel scene in “Scarlet Diva.” 

Watch it below:

SEE ALSO: Martin Scorsese goes nuclear on Rotten Tomatoes in a scathing column

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The black man beaten at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville now faces a felony charge

deandre harris attack charlottesville

A 20-year-old black man who was rushed and brutally assaulted by a group of white supremacists in Charlottesville two months ago is now himself facing a felony charge.

Deandre Harris was participating in a counterprotest to the white nationalists’ “Unite the Right” rally in August when a clash broke out in a parking garage near the University of Virginia campus.

Video of the incident shows Harris on the ground being violently kicked and beaten with poles by several attackers.

One person involved in the brawl, who has not been identified by authorities, has now accused Harris of injuring him during the exchange. The Charlottesville police department said in a press release on Monday it has issued an arrest warrant for Harris for unlawful wounding.

The video and several images of Harris’ beating went viral, triggering a social media crusade to identify the white supremacists responsible for the violence. Harris told media he had suffered injuries from the beating including lacerations to his head, a concussion, a broken wrist, and a chipped tooth.

Two men — 18-year-old Daniel Borden of Ohio and 33-year-old Michael Ramos of Georgia — were identified, arrested, extradited to Virginia, and charged with malicious wounding in August. At a court hearing for Ramos last month, his attorney reportedly said it may have been Harris who “struck the first blow in that fracas.”

Harris’ attorney S. Lee Merritt has described the charge against his client as “clearly retaliatory” and said Harris will soon turn himself into police.

“We find it highly offensive and upsetting, but what’s more jarring is that he’s been charged with the same crime as the men who attacked him,” Merritt told The Washington Post.

He added that it was “highly unusual” for a warrant to come from the magistrate rather than the police department, and suggested that the alleged victim had previously made an unsuccessful attempt at accusing Harris.

The Charlottesville Police Department, however, said in its press release that the warrant was issued by the police department, at the request of the magistrate.

“The victim went to the Magistrate’s office, presented the facts of what occurred and attempted to obtain the warrant. The magistrate requested that a detective respond and verify these facts,” the release said. “A Charlottesville Police Department detective did respond, verified the facts and a warrant for Unlawful Wounding (va Code 18.2-51) was issued.”

After news broke of the arrest warrant against Harris on Monday, white nationalists openly celebrated on Twitter. One even suggested that a crowdsourced effort to produce evidence against Harris occurred:

hunter wallace tweet deandre harris

SEE ALSO: White nationalists carrying torches returned to Charlottesville chanting ‘we will be back’

DON’T MISS: Using social media to identify Charlottesville attackers can be a dangerous game

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