Three white supremacists sentenced to prison over Charlottesville rally violence

Three members of a white supremacist group were sentenced on Friday to prison time over violence at a 2017 white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., as well as other rallies in California.

Benjamin Daley, Michael Miselis and Thomas Gillen each received a sentence between two and three years, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia said in a statement Friday.

Daley was sentenced to 37 months in prison, while Gillen received 33 months and Miselis received 27 months. Each man is between the ages of 25 and 30. A fourth defendant, Cole Evan White, will be sentenced at a later date, the statement said.

“These defendants, motivated by hateful ideology, incited and committed acts of violence in Charlottesville, as well at other purported political rallies in California,” U.S. Attorney Thomas Cullen said in the statement. “They were not interested in peaceful protest or lawful First Amendment expression; instead, they intended to provoke and engage in street battles with those that they perceived as their enemies.”

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The men were members of the Rise Above Movement, a white supremacist group that no longer exists, according to officials. The men attended two rallies in California as well as the August 2017 Charlottesville rally, where Daley and Miselis were found to have assaulted protesters and other individuals, the Justice Department said.

“Violence erupted among the crowd, with some punching, kicking, spraying chemical irritants and swinging torches,” the attorney’s office said. They “collectively pushed, punched, kicked, chocked, head-butted, and otherwise assaulted several individuals, resulting in a riot.”

Special Agent in Charge David Archey of the FBI said the sentences “demonstrate the U.S. Government’s intolerance of the use of violence, by anyone, to infringe upon the right of others to assemble peacefully.”

Earlier this month, the man already sentenced to life in prison on federal hate crime charges for killing one person and injuring dozens more during the Charlottesville rally was further sentenced to life plus 419 years on state murder and wounding charges.