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One woman is dead and three people are injured after a car plowed into a crowd of protesters against police brutality on Sunday night in Minneapolis.
The driver allegedly sped up as he got close to the protesters and then hit a car acting as a barricade to protect them. The second car then flew into the crowd, killing the unidentified woman and injuring three others, according to Minnesota Public Radio News.
“You’re going to jail!” some can be heard yelling on video, as others said, “We’re not letting him go.”
Witnesses also said the driver immediately tried to escape after the crash.
“A car came at us going like 70 or 80 miles an hour,” Minneapolis activist D.J. Hooker told MPR News in an interview. “There was one line of barriers and then a second barrier, and he sped up. He sped up. He went even faster as he approached us. You could hear it ... start going even faster as he got close to us.”
Some of the cops who responded to the scene were wearing riot gear and began yelling at protesters to disperse or they would be maced, according to a witness who livestreamed the incident. Chants of “No justice, no peace” then broke out.
“The cops come, and now they’re all threatening to mace us,” Hooker said in a livestream he recorded of the incident. “Even though we were the ones that were attacked. I don’t know, I don’t get it.”
The driver's motive is unknown, according to cops. They said in a statement that alcohol and drugs may have contributed to the crash. On video, he appeared to be yelling “I’ll take my life!” to the protesters who were restraining him.
Hooker and many others were gathered in Minneapolis’ Uptown neighborhood Sunday night protesting the killing of 32-year-old Winston Boogie Smith Jr., who was shot by a cop in a Minneapolis parking ramp on June 3 after U.S. Marshals were attempting to arrest the father of three for allegedly being a felon in possession of a gun. Police say Smith fired at them, but a witness disputes this account.
“I don’t know what we need anymore,” Hooker said in his livestream. “I’m just out here trying to get justice for the stolen lives. I’m out here trying to defend black lives so that we don't lose more people and that none of my kids' lives will be lost. I guess people are just trying to kill us.”
Marches and rallies have recurred in the city since Smith’s killing. Sunday’s protest started atop the parking ramp where Smith was killed, and ended in the Uptown neighborhood—only 2.5 miles from where George Floyd was killed by police in May of last year.
Minneapolis police said on Twitter that no further updates on Sunday’s killing are expected Monday.