A car rammed into a crowd of Black Lives Matter protesters in New York City. Videos on Twitter show the chaotic scene as a black Ford Taurus drives through a crowd of approximately 350 people protesting in Times Square against police brutality shortly after 8 p.m. Thursday.
Video shows the vehicle, which has blacked-out windows and a push bumper in the front of the car, stop in front of demonstrators who blocked the street with their bikes. Then the driver suddenly accelerates into the group of protesters, forcing demonstrators to jump out of the way. Some people used their bicycles to try to smash the car as it sped down 46th Street.
With the crowd chasing the car, the Taurus zipped down the street and made a right onto another road.
Car drives through protesters, Times Square, New York City, Thursday, September 3, 2020 pic.twitter.com/yMadwNYJSI— DataInput (@datainput) September 4, 2020
The NYPD said there were no reports of injuries from the event, but there is one Twitter video of a woman in the crowd yelling, “We need a medic!” An alleged witness wrote, “A few people and bikes hit but I only see minor injuries.”
The NYPD said they had launched an investigation and stressed that the vehicle “is NOT an NYPD vehicle.”
Thursday night’s protests in New York City focused on Daniel Prude, a 41-year-old black man who died in March after being arrested by Rochester police.
Prude’s brother called 911 to request help after the man was suffering from a mental episode. Authorities released bodycam footage of Prude’s arrest, which shows police officers placing the naked man in a spit hood after he refused to stop spitting. Police held Prude on the pavement for two minutes, and one officer is seen placing a knee on his back.
The Monroe County medical examiner’s office determined Prude’s cause of death from “complications of asphyxia in the setting of physical restraint.” Other factors, such as acute PCP intoxication and “excited delirium,” also contributed to the man’s death.
Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren announced on Thursday that the seven police officers involved in the arrest of Prude had been suspended.
“Mr. Daniel Prude was failed by our police department, our mental health care system, our society, and he was failed by me,” Warren said. “I’m filled with grief, and anger at myself for all the failures that lead to his death.”
Prude had been taken into custody for a mental health evaluation about eight hours before the encounter.