Cell phone video has emerged of a black Ford Taurus intentionally ramming into a crowd of Black Lives Matters protesters in New York City’s Times Square, once the world’s busiest tourist hub.
Protests in New York are usually peaceful, inviting, legally permitted, well-publicized, and flanked by uniformed officers and squad cars helping to redirect traffic and prevent things from getting out of hand.
But at around 8 p.m. Thursday evening, CBS News reported that a gathering of Black Lives Matter supporters who had congregated to protest the death of Daniel Prude, an unarmed, naked black man who after officers placed a bag over his head was murdered at the hands of Rochester Police in March, were confronted by a horde of enraged supporters of President Donald Trump.
“As it became heated, police say one officer told a pro-Trump demonstrator to leave in his car, taking a specific route,” CBS’s Ali Bauman wrote. “Police say the demonstrator instead drove through the Black Lives Matter march.”
View the dramatic footage below:
Other videos emerged on Twitter, including closeups of the car’s license plate.
Perhaps because Ford Tauruses are the fleet sedans of choice for the New York City Police Department, whom the public has increasingly distrusted because of how peaceful protesters are often treated, the NYPD tweeted shortly after the incident that it was not involved, and that there have been no accusations of foul play lobbed at the agency.
“There is an ongoing investigation into an incident in Times Square involving a black Taurus sedan. This auto is NOT an NYPD vehicle,” it wrote. “There are currently no complainants. NYPD asks if there is anyone injured, please come forward.”
There are currently no complainants. NYPD asks if there is anyone injured, please come forward.
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) September 4, 2020
On Friday morning, NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea added on Good Day New York that the department has sufficient information on the vehicle to conduct an investigation.
Some observers noticed, however, that officers were protecting pro-Trumpers, and not those demanding an end to racist police tactics. That has led them to believe the car may have been an unmarked police cruiser, but this remains purely speculative.
Police are standing around what I believe were 4 pro Trump protesters. pic.twitter.com/eHGM9X7FSb
— DataInput (@datainput) September 4, 2020
So far, no injuries or deaths have been reported, but witnesses and residents were understandably shaken by what they saw.
“A black car came through the crowd and hit the person in front of me and then me and then I believe the person behind me, and we all had bikes so they just came charging through. It was pretty terrifying,” Brooklyn resident Lora Gettelfinger told CBS2’s Ali Bauman.
The Big Apple has become a hotspot of protests that have ignited over the slews of extrajudicial lynchings of unarmed black people by cops across the country as it recovers from the calamatous first wave of the coronavirus pandemic, which has left nearly 24,000 city residents dead and hunreds of thousands unemployed.
What's Your Reaction?
Brandon is a political writer for the Hill Reporter specializing in current events, breaking news, and scientific discovery. Brandon holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University. He lives in New York City.