Ellen Drisgill stated she was shocked when FBI brokers got here to her home and arrested her son, a KKK member who police say fired a gun throughout a current white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Drisgill stated she did not even know her son had a gun. Plus, he was pleasant with the black neighbors close by.
“I am very stunned about all of this,” she advised The Related Press outdoors her Baltimore residence Monday.
Native authorities in Charlottesville just lately charged her son, Richard Wilson Preston Jr., with discharging a firearm inside 1,000 ft (300 meters) of a faculty in the course of the rally Aug. 12.
The American Civil Liberties Union stated it had offered regulation enforcement officers with a video of the capturing earlier than Preston’s arrest. It exhibits a person yelling and firing a handgun one time whereas standing on a sidewalk crowded with rally goers and counterprotesters. Nobody was struck.
Preston, fifty two, advised a decide on Monday that he would not struggle extradition from his residence metropolis of Baltimore to Charlottesville.
It was hardly Preston’s first day in courtroom or within the information.
Preston confronted a number of assault expenses within the early 2000s, though he wasn’t convicted for any of them, in line with courtroom data in Maryland.
He additionally has spoken out publicly as an imperial wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. Principally just lately he spoke with an Indiana TV station within the days after Charlottesville’s lethal protests, blaming the town’s mayor for the unrest.
White nationalists had descended on Charlottesville in help of a Accomplice monument that is been focused for removing. A lady was killed when a automotive smashed into counterprotesters, and two state troopers died when their helicopter crashed.
“We did not go there because the Klan,” Preston advised WANE-TV in Fort Wayne . “We did not go there to create havoc in a struggle. We have been there to guard the monument.”
A 2013 article and video from the Information Journal in Wilmington, Delaware, exhibits Preston in KKK garb calling for the impeachment of then-President Barack Obama.
Drisgill, Preston’s mom, stated she did not know so much about what her son did away from residence.
“We have rarely sat and talked,” she stated.
Kay Chapman, who lives throughout the road and is black, described Preston as neighborly and “very respectful.”
Chapman stated she was surprised to see video of him on the rally.
“My coronary heart dropped,” she stated. “What occurred to make him do this?”
Chapman stated he had a Accomplice flag sticker on his truck, however she did not assume negatively about him for displaying it. She decribed him as “an all-round good man.”
“He by no means offended me or my youngsters,” she stated.
She stated she thought one thing “within the warmth of the second” should have set him off on the rally.
“I do not assume he meant it,” she stated.
For Brandon Scott, a black metropolis councilman who lives close to Preston’s residence, the video is proof that racism nonetheless exists and that counterprotests are vital.
“It isn’t shocking to me,” he stated. “However for all of those people saying individuals should not be protesting, that is the right instance of why they need to be.”
Scott stated the subsequent time individuals are criticized for protesting towards white nationalists, he’ll ship the ACLU’s video from Charlottesville. He’ll inform them “this individual is in my neighborhood.”