Pickup driver plows through protest in Florida
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Pickup driver plows through protest in Florida

Vehicle seen speeding through demonstration in Tallahassee; police respond

Screenshot from a a video showing a pickup truck driving through a crowd of protesters on May 30, 2020 in Tallahhassee, Florida
Screenshot from a a video showing a pickup truck driving through a crowd of protesters on May 30, 2020 in Tallahhassee, Florida

A pickup truck drove through an intersection where protesters were demonstrating Saturday in Tallahassee, Florida, causing people to run screaming out of the way as the vehicle stopped and started and at one point had a person on its hood, according to witnesses and video posted on social media.

The driver of the vehicle was later arrested.

Video showed the truck stopped at a traffic light, and protesters walking around and near it while appearing to speak to the driver. The truck then suddenly accelerated.

Protesters across the county gathered on Saturday for a fifth day to condemn the killing of George Floyd at the hands of police on Monday.

Protests erupted in Minneapolis and then spread more widely this week after video emerged showing a police officer pressing his knee into Floyd’s neck even after Floyd stopping moving and pleading for air. Floyd later died of his injuries. The officer, Derek Chauvin, was arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter on Friday.

Lucas von Hollen, an instructor at Florida State University, said Saturday he saw the Tallahassee incident as protesters were chanting and marching as in a standard demonstration, but then he heard a distinct scream of fear. He looked out a window from a second-floor work building and saw the burgundy pickup. He described it slowing down as it had driven up toward the protesters, who didn’t move.

“Then the truck revved its engines…a couple people got out of the way, but some people didn’t, and it just drove straight through the crowd.”

He said people then followed the car to prevent the driver from getting away and police were everywhere.

He added: “No one was pulled under the wheels that I saw, but people were definitely hurt. There was screeching …. People were crying and screaming about how it just drove through the crowd.”

Tallahassee Mayor John Dailey issued a statement Saturday, saying: “Earlier today an individual struck a crowd of peaceful protestors with their vehicle in downtown Tallahassee at a low rate of speed. Thankfully no one was seriously injured. The driver of the vehicle was immediately taken into custody. The peaceful protestors have my unwavering support and I unequivocally condemn any violence toward protestors.‬”

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