Follow-Up: CHS Attackers’ Ringleader

In an impressive follow-up in this week’s Hook, Lisa Provence follows up on the early 2002 kerfuffle over the black Charlottesville High School students that repeatedly assaulted white and Asian college students, apparently for fun. There were televised community meetings, meetings of the black community, accusations of press sensationalism, attempts to keep the attackers from being expelled, guilty pleas, and finally convictions. Lost in the shuffle of the whole thing were the victims — instead, the outpouring of support was directed to the attackers, with Rev. Alvin Edwards heading up a community effort to raise money for their defense. Once the white supremacists got involved and Rev. Edwards got started with his own outrageous racial comments, it really got messy. After the story ended up in the national spotlight, Lisa Provence wrote a story about the obvious racial tensions, and how they’d divided the community. As things were left, though, these were said to be good kids who did something stupid (four times). As Lisa Provence makes clear in her follow-up, about convicted attacker Vernon Howard, that clearly wasn’t true for all of them — he’s got quite a criminal record just two years later. As Howard told The Hook, in response to accusations that he got off too lightly: “Tell ’em to deal. Tell ’em to kiss my ass.” The Hook, of course, has the story.

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