Corey Long, from Culpeper, Virginia, was just convicted in Charlottesville General District Court of “misdemeanor disorderly conduct” for using “an impromptu flamethrower” against a Klan protester last August. He was initially charged with misdemeanor assault and battery for another incident that day, but those charges were dropped.
After police declared an unlawful assembly on Aug. 12, 2017, Long testified during his trial that he stood by Emancipation Park, now known as Market Street Park, as ralliers left the area. A small group of people, including Richard Preston, a self-identified Ku Klux Klan imperial wizard, approached Long and began yelling slurs at him, Long said. Fearing for his life, he said he sprayed an aerosol can to make them back away. When the people continued to approach, he said, he lit the spray to protect himself….
At his trial in June, Long’s attorney argued that he was acting in self-defense and that the Culpeper resident hadn’t come to the park with the intent to commit disorderly conduct.
It’s not clear what Long had intended to do with the “aerosol can” he brought to the protest.