Jury says ‘Unite the Right’ rally organizers must pay $25 million

A jury in Virginia decided Tuesday that a who’s who of U.S. white supremacist leaders and hate groups should pay more than $25 million in damages to plaintiffs who said they suffered physical or emotional injuries during the deadly “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville in 2017.

Though the jury found the defendants liable under a Virginia conspiracy law, the seven white and four Black jurors were unable to reach a verdict on whether the defendants were liable under a federal statute that outlaws conspiracies to commit racially motivated violence.

Coming after a third day of deliberations, the decision showed the jurors rejected defense arguments that the trial represented a referendum on free speech rights.

The jurors imposed $500,000 each in punitive damages against several defendants and $1 million each against several organizations on the state conspiracy claim. They limited compensatory damages on that claim to no more than $1 each.

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