Cities and towns across the United States faced an outpouring of protests Saturday amid the national outrage over law enforcement excess sparked by the killing of George Floyd in police custody. Researchers say these protests, now in their 12th day, are the broadest in U.S. history, having spread to well over 650 cities and towns, across all 50 states.
In Buffalo, two police officers were charged after a widely circulated video appeared to show them shoving a 75-year-old protester, who fell and bled from the head as officers walked past him.
A car rammed through a group of protesters on bicycles during peaceful demonstrations in Brooklyn on Saturday night, setting off a chase that ended in the driver’s arrest, according to footage from the scene.
Video shows a group of about a dozen cyclists, who were part of a larger march, gathered at an intersection in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights neighborhood when a dark Volkswagen hatchback lurches onto the sidewalk and accelerates toward them.
The car can be seen crashing into one protester head-on, the crunch of metal audible in the clip. Other cyclists can be seen banging on the vehicle and screaming at the driver to stop. Seconds later, the driver speeds off down the street.
Brooklyn resident Michael Spitzer-Rubenstein, who shot the video, said he was among a group of protesters at the front of the demonstration.
The driver wanted to get through to go to work but could not be persuaded to turn around by multiple people, Spitzer-Rubenstein told The Washington Post on the 12th day.
“He refused to turn around, backed up and then rammed into the people,” he said. “The video of is of him driving onto the sidewalk and then hitting people.”
Other observers said protesters stopped the driver down the road. Video posted by Chris Welch, editor of the Verge, a technology news website, shows dozens of people surrounding the car. Several police officers in helmets and masks handcuff the driver.
The New York Police Department could not immediately confirm that the driver had been taken into custody.
In cities across the country, drivers have been captured on video careening through crowds of people in demonstrations sparked by the death of George Floyd in police custody.
This week, a car grazed several people and hit a cyclist during a protest in Newport Beach, Calif. The driver was arrested a few blocks away on a charge of assault with a deadly weapon.
Another video showed a car swerving toward a protester in Denver. Last weekend, a truck barreled toward masses of demonstrators on a Minneapolis highway.
The New York Police Department also came under fire last weekend after officers in squad cars were filmed driving through protesters.
The 12th day saw the largest crowds reported so far in Washington, D.C. A private memorial service was held in George Floyd’s birthplace of Raeford, North Carolina, where family celebrated his life and public officials called for change.
“America, you better get this, what they’re saying is there is going to be no peace until there is justice,” said Hoke County Sheriff Hubert Peterkin at the service.
Atlanta on Saturday lifted its 8 p.m. curfew that had been put in place in response to ongoing protests. “The City of Atlanta will not have a curfew tonight, Saturday, June 6 through sunrise Sunday morning,” the city said on Twitter.
The curfew was first enacted last weekend and began at 9 p.m. The curfew was moved up one hour on Friday and was initially set to run through the remainder of this weekend.