Detroit police officer drives SUV into crowd of protesters
Protesters say that this was not an issue of self-defense, but 'a clear act of aggression'
A Detroit police officer drove into a crowd of protesters late Sunday night after people marching against police brutality surrounded the SUV and some jumped on the hood.
Video of the chaotic scene was shared on Twitter where people can be heard screaming, while others ran after the vehicle which sped away.
According to The Detroit News, the protest began peacefully around 4 p.m., but the incident took place much later near 9:30 p.m. The report says that the officer’s back window was “busted out,” and the department says that the officer was trying to escape.
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One person who attended the protests wrote on Facebook that he and “10-12 others” were struck by the SUV.
“These officers drove into our protest after we walked past their vehicles.” Ethan Ketner wrote, “They did not need to drive past us for emergency purposes because they had other officers on the other side ready. This was a clear act of aggression.”
Detroit police spokeswoman Sgt. Nicole Kirkwood told The Detroit Free Press that the department is investigating the actions of both the protesters and the officer who was driving.
The rally was organized by several civil rights organizations fighting against systemic racism, police brutality, deportations, and evictions and water shutoffs which have been an ongoing issue in the city.
Tristan Taylor who runs Detroit Will Breathe has led several events of this nature in the city. He told The Free Press, “This is us, acting on what we’d said we were going to do as an organization.”
One protester who was at the event, Jae Bass, said he tried to stand in front of the police SUV to stop it before it endangered protesters. “In response to that, he just floored it,” Bass said.
“He went super fast. Me and a couple of other organizers that were with me just went flinging off. We went flying off. He ran over a couple people’s arms, feet.” Bass said.
One witness said several people had to be hospitalized from the collision.
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