Virginia Man Sentenced For Driving Truck At Group Of Black Lives Matter Protesters

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Julia Canzano Contributor
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A Virginia man was sentenced to three years in jail after pleading guilty to driving through a group of Black Lives Matter protesters in Virginia Beach last year, according to The Associated Press.

Emanuel “Manny” Wilder, 20, was sentenced on Thursday and ordered to pay the $1,856 it took for law enforcement to extradite him from Lake City, Florida, according to The Associated Press. He pled guilty to several charges, including failure to appear, reckless driving, disorderly conduct, and disturbing the peace, according to the AP.

The incident occurred on May 31, 2020, when a group of Black Lives Matter protesters were gathered near the Oceanfront boardwalk in Virginia Beach to protest the death of George Floyd and police brutality. Wilder was seen on multiple cameras driving his truck towards protesters, yelling obscenities and racial slurs, and waving a hatchet, The Associated Press reported. (RELATED: Charlottesville Killer Pleads Guilty, Escapes Death Penalty)

Wilder was arrested in Florida in October for another incident after fleeing Virginia, according to the Tennessee Star. He had already missed two court dates related to the Black Lives Matter incident.

“I’d change my actions if I could,” Wilder said during a court appearance, the Tennessee Star reported.

Wilder’s attorney fought for 140 days in jail, but the judge said Wilder’s actions were “full of hatred” and sentenced him to three years. “He was out there yelling the (N-word) while wielding a hatchet,” the judge said, according to WAVY, a local news affiliate. “We cannot tolerate hatred in this community.”