Dismissed: Another win for Veronica Fitzhugh

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Veronica Fitzhugh waves to about 50 supporters outside the Charlottesville General District Court after Judge Robert Downer dismissed an assault charge. Staff photo Veronica Fitzhugh waves to about 50 supporters outside the Charlottesville General District Court after Judge Robert Downer dismissed an assault charge. Staff photo

In her most recent court appearance, a judge dropped an assault charge against activist Veronica Fitzhugh after her accuser failed to appear.

Alleged victim Jason Turner blamed Fitzhugh for yelling at him and pushing him in Emancipation Park on May 21 as he attempted to take a photo of the General Robert E. Lee monument. Turner, who was carrying a Confederate flag, made a video that shows the activist, who fights for black and transgender rights, repeatedly order him to leave the park.

Turner reportedly works in D.C. and has missed a couple of court dates, causing the case to be continued several times.

When Charlottesville General District Court Judge Robert Downer called Fitzhugh’s name, about 30 people dressed in pink stood, until a uniformed deputy demanded they sit down.

Her supporters were once again reprimanded when they cheered as Downer made his ruling. The defendant exited the courtroom to the applause of several dozen other pink-clad fans.

Wearing a gray jacket with “FIND SAGE” printed on its lapels, Fitzhugh declined to give an interview, but plugged Violet Crown’s free screening of MAJOR!, a film about a transgender elder and activist, on November 20—the National Transgender Day of Remembrance.

Her blazer refers to Sage Smith, a local trans woman who was last seen in November 2012 on West Main Street. Earlier this year, police ruled her disappearance a homicide.

Outside the courtroom, Fitzhugh’s attorney made a brief statement about the assault charge. “I’m pleased by it being dismissed,” Jeff Fogel said. “It never should have been brought in the first place.”

He represented Fitzhugh in the same courtroom on October 20, when she was found not guilty of obstructing free passage at the summer’s July 8 Ku Klux Klan rally in Justice Park, where she laid down in front of the gate that white supremacists were scheduled to enter through, and was carried away by police.

Fogel will also stand by his client for another alleged assault that happened May 20, one day before the Turner confrontation. Homegrown right-wing blogger and organizer of the deadly Unite the Right rally, Jason Kessler, filed a charge against Fitzhugh that will be heard February 2.

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