The Searcy Daily Citizen newspaper just ran a front page article on Jacob Goodwin’s case:
What: member fighting extradition to Charlottesville, VA
Who: Jacob S. Goodwin, 22, of Ward
Why: Being charged for role in fighting at protest; doesn’t feel like will get a fair trial.
‘It was a trap’
Arkansan describes circumstances of Charlottesville fighting
by Tracy Whitaker, Searcy Daily Citizen
A 22-year-old man arrested two months after reportedly being identified as an aggressor in a fight at a Charlottesville, Va., demonstration talked to The Daily Citizen at a White County Courthouse rally a week after the Virginia protest, describing fights that were, according to him, acts of self defense.
Jacob Scott Goodwin of Ward is currently being held in the Lonoke County Detention Center awaiting extradition to Charlottesville, Va., to face charges relating to the incident in which a black man was shown on video being beaten by a group of several men, some of which had pipes and shields.
The gathering surrounding the White County monument was fairly peaceful, with only a few strong words strewn as groups argued over history and different reasons, mostly, to preserve the Confederate soldier monument that hovers over the courthouse lawn.
An online hacker group, Anonymous, had threatened the statue in a press release but did not appear at the event; although others gathered in anticipation of the possibility the group would show up to destroy the statue as promised in the release.
On the local courthouse lawn on August 18 Goodwin described his experience in Charlottesville.
“So we came out of the marketplace garage and went onto the street…we had shields and batons for protection,” Goodwin said, because the group had to fight to hold their “front,” which is where their permit to demonstrate allowed them to occupy.
“People who showed up without eye protection were kinda dumb,” Goodwin said. “We didn’t get killed. That was their plan. The cops were on one side not breaking anything up.”
Goodwin said the police had instructed them to retreat, but when they tried, they were attacked.
“I was busy fighting — I was fighting the whole time,” Goodwin said. “[We had] shields over our heads [as we got] pegged with bottles of concrete. I’m glad we did, we probably would have been obliterated.
“They were fighting for their ideology. We were fighting for our lives and we won,” Goodwin said. “The girl who died…the blood is on the police’s hands, because they didn’t do what they should have.
“It was a trap,” Goodwin said.
Goodwin was reportedly identified from social media as being one of the men involved. Goodwin was the third man arrested in connection with the scuffle in which a video showed 20-year-old DeAndre Harris being beaten by several — at least five — men. Two others have already been extradited to Virginia to face charges.
Harris was also charged for alleged assault in the incident. He was released on bond; whereas the three arrested for allegedly beating Harris are being held without bond after being sought by the U.S. Marshal’s Office.
Goodwin is fighting extradition, saying that it will be impossible to get a fair trial in Charlottesville. A petition is circulating the internet pleading with the governor to either deny extradition or allow it only if it is agreed the venue be changed once Goodwin faces his charge of felony malicious wounding.
Since Goodwin was arrested, he has further described the incident:
“At the Unite The Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, on August 12th, I and many others were protesting against the threatened removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee there,” he stated. “Although the demonstration joined had a legal permit, after it was attacked by leftists, a state of emergency was declared and the rally [was] ordered to disperse.
“While, [we], the statue defenders were leaving, we were continually threatened, stalked, and attacked by violent Antifa, Black Lives Matter and Communist counter-protesters.”
“As I and some other people walked past a parking garage on their way out Corey Long, an African-American felon who used a homemade flamethrower to threaten unarmed protesters during that day, assaulted an elderly veteran and attempted to steal his Confederate flag,” Goodwin said.
“As the two men wrestled over the flag, DeAndre Harris, another black criminal, struck the elderly gentleman forcefully in the head with a large, 8 D cell steel flashlight, causing severe injury. It was at that point that a scuffle broke out between the two groups, and DeAndre Harris found himself on the losing end.”
Goodwin’s spokesperson, leader of the Shield Wall Network out of Stone County, Billy Roper, said, “The fact that both DeAndre Harris and Corey Long were arrested and charged, but then immediately released on bond, while Jacob Goodwin’s co-defendants, one of whom is Hispanic, have been denied bond, is more evidence that the local city of Charlottesville is biased. Jacob Goodwin will not be able to receive a fair trial there. That is why his family, friends, and supporters have asked Governor Asa Hutchinson to either deny Virginia’s extradition request, or stipulate that Jacob must receive a change of venue away from Charlottesville for his trial, before he will sign the extradition.”
In an email from the Lonoke County Jail on Wednesday, Goodwin said, “I live the existence of a criminal. I’ve never been in trouble with the law.
“I’m a political prisoner in every sense of the word.”