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A car plowed through Black Lives Matter protesters in Times Square, and the NYPD had to deny accusations it was one of its unmarked vehicles

Sep 4, 2020, 18:00 IST
Insider
A car is seen plowing through a crowd of Black Lives Matter protesters in New York City Thursday night.Twitter/@Datalnput
  • A car plowed through a crowd of Black Lives Matter protesters in New York City's Times Square on Thursday night.
  • The New York City Police Department denied claims that the car was one of its unmarked vehicles.
  • An NYPD representative said the force was asking the driver of the vehicle, and anyone who may have been injured in the incident, to come forward.
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A car plowed through a crowd of Black Lives Matter protesters in Times Square on Thursday, and the police are asking the driver to come forward.

Video shows the moment a black Ford Taurus approached the intersection of 46th Street and Seventh Avenue, where several protesters were crossing the street. When the protesters refused to move, the car accelerated through the crowd.

Some people at the scene claimed the vehicle was an unmarked police car, but the New York City Police Department denied in a tweet that the car belonged to its fleet.

According to WABC, the police are asking that the driver of the vehicle come forward.

The police told WABC that the driver was involved in a separate rally to support President Donald Trump that crossed paths with the Black Lives Matter protesters, who were demanding justice for Daniel Prude, a Black man who died after an arrest in Rochester, New York, in March.

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A video posted to social media early Friday morning showed a man wearing an American-flag shirt and what appeared to be a "Make America Great Again" hat getting into the rear passenger seat of the vehicle before the car drove into the Black Lives Matter protest in Times Square.

A police spokesman told the New York Daily News that officers tried to direct the vehicle toward the New York Marriott Marquis, a hotel located opposite Times Square, and away from the Black Lives Matter protesters but that the driver drove straight down 46th street instead.

While the NYPD tweeted that no injuries had been reported, reporters spoke with people at the scene who said they had been hit.

Black Lives Matter and Trump supporters are seen arguing in Times Square on Thursday.Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

"The car just hit me. He hit me straight on and kept going," a cyclist who asked to be identified by only his first name, Rob, told the Daily News. "I was working barricade. My knee is bad and my bike is ruined."

Lora Gettelfinger, 33, told Gothamist that she was hit in the leg by the vehicle.

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"I'm in shock. I'm just happy to be alive right now," she said.

Cars driving through protests has become a recurrent problem since the Black Lives Matter movement reignited at the end of May in response to the police killing of George Floyd, a Black man in Minneapolis.

A University of Chicago researcher recently found that there had been 50 vehicle-ramming incidents at protests since late May, according to NPR.

In one notable incident in May, a marked NYPD SUV was caught on video driving through protesters in Brooklyn.

Expanded Coverage Module: black-lives-matter-module
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