Car Drives Through BLM Protest in NYC
Protests started in New York City after a video surfaced of another unarmed Black man being killed by police in Rochester, NY back in March.
On Wednesday night, a driver of a black sedan drove into a crowd of protestors in Times Square, and as of now, there have been no reported injuries. There was initial speculation that the car could have been an unmarked police vehicle due to the dark tints and the pusher on the front of the sedan, but it was later confirmed that this was not the case.
There is an ongoing investigation into an incident in Times Square involving a black Taurus sedan. This auto is NOT an NYPD vehicle. pic.twitter.com/kBGuXhFtP1
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) September 4, 2020
The incident took place after the Black Lives Matter protestors encountered a Pro-Trump rally happening at the same time. NYPD is reporting that they asked one of the Trump rallygoers to leave after a heated exchange. Instead of taking the route as instructed by the police, the driver drove through the crowd and sped off. Authorities are currently looking for the assailant.
— Cristian Benavides (@cbenavidesTV) September 4, 2020
The BLM protests were for Daniel Prude, a 41-year old Black man who was killed by Rochester police on March 23. Bodycam footage was just released in September, and it shows Prude handcuffed and naked, with a spit mask over his head, while he sits in the middle of the street. At one point in the video, an officer can be seen with his leg on Prude’s back, he can be heard crying out, and then Prude is unresponsive. The initial call for help was made by Prude’s brother, who though Prude was acting strangely after making suicidal statements and running from his house erratically.
Here’s a pic of #DanielPrude. Police in Rochester, NY murdered him while he was in a mental health crisis. If you’re Black in America + are in need of mental health support, don’t call the cops. They lack the humanity, compassion, and skills to keep us alive. #DefundThePolice ✊🏽 pic.twitter.com/kFyja1gwec
— Julius Boatwright, MSW, LSW (@MentalHealthJul) September 3, 2020
Prude had already been to the hospital earlier in the day and had been released before his brother called the police for assistance. A brother calling for help ended with a distressed man losing his life. In an instance when medical attention was needed, police killed a man who was fully incapacitated by them. Excessive force was used on a man who had no weapon on him, being completely naked and that was already subdued, being handcuffed, in addition to having on a spit mask.
The Monroe County Medical Examiner ruled Prude’s death as a homicide due to asphyxiation caused by physical restraint. The seven officers involved have been suspended and investigations into the incident have opened up.
We now hope that the driver who drove into the crowd will be found, arrested, and charged, as the fight to end racism and police brutality rages on.