Thursday, June 4, 2020

Footage shows vehicle hitting protester in downtown Colorado Springs

Posted By on Thu, Jun 4, 2020 at 5:20 PM

click to enlarge A woman protesting downtown was hit by a Jeep. - HEIDI BEEDLE
  • Heidi Beedle
  • A woman protesting downtown was hit by a Jeep.

Conflicting accounts about a Jeep hitting a woman during a protest against police brutality abounded on social media.

The incident occurred around 8 p.m. June 3, when some people were lying on the ground near Cascade and Pikes Peak avenues. They were protesting the May 25 death of 46-year-old George Floyd, who died after two Minneapolis Police Department officers pinned him to the ground, and another pressed a knee against Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes.

Video from KKTV 11 News and Fox21 News shows a Jeep hitting a woman as other protesters lay on the ground.

The Jeep appears to bowl through the crowd and continue moving after hitting the woman.

Eventually, the driver was arrested and the woman was transported from the scene in an ambulance.

The Colorado Springs Police Department did not respond to the Indy's multiple requests for more information, but tweeted at the time:

"(Our) initial information is driver was stopped in traffic and assaulted by protesters and when a protester jumped on the hood of the jeep, it drove off, injuring the protester."

That's not what the video appears to show.

Police also tweeted that "Protestors prevented Law Enforcement from quickly providing aid to the pedestrian and driver or fully investigating the incident."

Protesters took to social media to dispute police accounts.

"The police stood around while medics [protesters who wore clothing to designate them as people able to provide medical assistance] rendered aid - protesters were not hindering anything - we were begging them to help her," local actor Sammy Gleason wrote in a Facebook post.

"The driver drove through The intersection and onto the sidewalk to bypass the protesters, putting their lives in danger," Gleason wrote.

In a video posted on Facebook showing the woman lying on the ground, Gleason said the driver ran over her on purpose.

"We're going to follow up with that person who tried to kill innocent protesters to break the cycle of slavery and racism in this country, and make sure that he fucking rots in jail," Lord Young Wavvy, a local hip-hop artist and organizer, told protesters following the incident.

A KKTV reporter tweeted that police set off smoke bombs following the collision "to get space," but police replied that they did so after being "pelted with rocks" — a statement that also drew anger from protesters.

"I was right there when they started throwing the smoke bombs...there was no rocks thrown," says Sarah Marreel-Alley, who posted a video of the incident to YouTube. "There was yelling but no rocks."

Her friend, David Burke, tells the Indy he was also standing nearby and did not see rocks thrown at police.

Marreel-Alley's video appears to show protesters' medics attempting to help the woman, while police stand by and the driver sits in the vehicle before the ambulance shows up. Then police set off smoke bombs.

"Are you fucking kidding me?" a person can be heard screaming.

Later that night, a speaker told the crowd that the victim, Nichole, was "OK."

The rest of the protest remained peaceful.

June 3 was the first night the city was under a curfew, ordered earlier that day by Mayor John Suthers.

After the curfew, speakers encouraged the crowd to remain peaceful and refrain from chanting or holding signs. They walked around the downtown area, some people splitting off to go to their cars, until about 11:30 p.m.

The following afternoon, June 4, protesters walked to UC Health Memorial Hospital in honor of the victim.

We will update this story with more information on the arrested driver and the victim's condition, when we receive it.

Editor's note: The creator of the video we originally embedded with this article has asked us to remove it. We've instead linked to videos from KKTV and Fox21.

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