A driver struck a protester on Thursday night during demonstrations in California over the lack of criminal charges in the shooting death of Breonna Taylor, Los Angeles police said.
The LAPD is are aware of an incident in Hollywood involving several vehicles and a large group of protestors. Here is the information we can verify at this time. pic.twitter.com/ttqpnziVo8
— LAPD HQ (@LAPDHQ) September 25, 2020
A group of more than 300 protesters marched through Hollywood just after 7 p.m., officer said. They were described as “largely peaceful” besides some reports of vandalism. They made their way onto Sunset Boulevard.
— jessicarayerogers (@jessicarayerog1) September 25, 2020
“Shortly after 9:00 p.m. a blue pick-up truck traveling on Sunset maneuvered through the crowd and became involved in an altercation,” cops said. “As the driver attempted to get away from the situation, he struck a protester standing in the street. That individual was transported to a local hospital with minor injuries.”
Police also announced that a white Prius tried driving around the same protest but the driver got into an “altercation” with people in that crowd.
MOMENTS AGO: Prius drives through a protest in Hollywood, protestors then chase the vehicle down, smash the windows with a skateboard while attempting to pull the driver out of the car. The driver then speeds away and is pulled over by LAPD and handcuffed. @NBCLA @elianamoreno pic.twitter.com/OZuU1r8QoG
— Kenny Holmes (@KHOLMESlive) September 25, 2020
As seen on video, a black pickup truck sped past the Prius, and blocked the way, forcing it to a stop. A green vehicle–identified by cops as a Mustang–blocked the rear of the Prius, so that the driver of the Prius could not successfully reverse out of the scene. By this point, a person from the driver side of the black pickup had run up to the driver’s side of the Pruis, and reached in. Multiple people surrounded the vehicle, apparently striking it. The Prius driver finally drove off.
Police said they did not arrest the person, only detained them.
— Kenny Holmes (@KHOLMESlive) September 25, 2020
Officers described the black pickup truck and the green Mustang as participating in the protests. Drivers of both vehicle were trying to get the Prius driver from his vehicle, they said. No injuries were reported in that incident.
According to police, “all of the drivers and victims” involved in both confrontations were identified. The investigation is ongoing.
No police officers were charged for fatally shooting Louisville woman Breonna Taylor after breaking into her apartment during the execution of a drug warrant on March 13. Only one defendant–now-fired Detective Brett Hankison–was charged at all in connection to the incident. He faces three counts of wanton endangerment after some of his bullets traveled through Taylor’s home into a neighboring residence occupied by a man, pregnant woman, and a child, said Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron (R) on Wednesday.
The AG said, however, that two other officers who opened fire–Sgt. Jon Mattingly and Detective Myles Cosgrove–were justified because Taylor’s boyfriend Kenneth Walker shot Mattingly in the leg. Walker has said that police did not identify themselves, and that he did not know they were cops. Cameron said that an “independent witness” corroborated the law enforcement account that they identified themselves.
The AG’s interpretation of the law faced criticism, with some, including Louisville Councilwoman Jessica Green (D-District 1), taking issue with how Cameron applied a self-defense claim to Mattingly and Cosgrove even though he was a prosecutor.
“Well, again, not to throw any type of shade toward Attorney General Cameron, but if he had ever tried any kind of case, or knew anything about criminal law in the state of Kentucky, you don’t get to raise a self-defense claim against someone who was not the actor, who did not levy the actual deadly force against you,” she said, and pointed out Taylor was unarmed.
Hankison attorney Stewart Matthews said his client will be entering a not guilty plea.
“Daniel Cameron, I thought, did an excellent job at his, at the press conference when he announced the charges,” he told The Louisville Courier-Journal. “He said he presented the evidence to the grand jury and didn’t try to influence them one way or another, which I appreciate very much, based on prior cases I’ve been involved with in the past where that was not necessarily the case from the prosecutors.”
The case landed on a cultural fault line: the ongoing national debate over how law enforcement treats people of color, especially Black people. Taylor was Black. So is Kenneth Walker, Daniel Cameron, and Jessica Green. The officers are white.
[Screengrab via @jessicarayerog1 on Twitter]
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