An Indianapolis woman was arrested after being accused of driving her car into a group of protesters. According to IndyStar, a 66-year-old woman named Christi Bennett was hit with preliminary charges of criminal recklessness and leaving the scene of an accident and taken to the Monroe County Jail on July 8. She was later released on $500 bond.
Bennett is accused of hitting two protesters, a 35-year-old man and a 29-year-old woman, with her car as a racial justice rally was ending on July 6 around 9:30 p.m outside of the Monroe County Courthouse, the Bloomington-Herald Times reported. Bennett left the scene of the accident. The woman was treated at IU Health Bloomington Hospital for head injuries after being knocked unconscious and the man was treated for abrasions on his arm, the Times reported.
Protesters Wanted Justice After Video of an Attempted Lynching Went Viral
Protesters gathered outside of the Monroe County Courthouse to demand that the people who attempted to lynch a Black man be arrested, according to RTV6 Indianapolis. In videos of the incident, several men are seen assaulting Vauhxx Booker, a Monroe County Human Rights Commissioner, at Lake Monroe. Booker said he and friends were on their way to a public beach to watch a lunar eclipse when the group of men told them they were on private property and threatened to “get a noose,” RTV6 reported.
“I don’t want to recount this, but I was almost the victim of an attempted lynching,” Booker wrote in a Facebook post. “I don’t want this to have happened to me or anyone. It hurts my soul, and my pride, but there are multiple witnesses and it can’t be hidden or avoided.”
In his lengthy account of what happened, he said he and his friends were followed by a white man in an ATV who told them they were trespassing on private property. The organizer of their gathering to watch the lunar eclipse later told them that was untrue. As he was leaving, he was attacked.
A short moment later they began following us yelling. Two of them jumped me from behind and knocked me to the ground. I tussled with the two and another one joined in, then two more. The five were able to easily overwhelm me and got me to the ground and dragged me pinning my body against a tree as they began pounding on my head and ripped off some of my hair, with several of them still on top of my body holding me down. They held me pinned and continued beating me for several minutes seemingly become more and more enraged as they kept trying to seriously injure me and failing. At one point during the attack one of the men jumped on my neck. I could feel both his feet and his full bodyweight land hard against my neck.
The incident is being investigated by the FBI, Click On Detroit reported.
One of the Protesters Who Was Hit Tried to Stop Bennett
The man who was hit, Geoff Stewart, told RTV6 that when he saw Bennett coming in her red Toyota Corolla, he tried to stop her.
“A woman driving the vehicle came up to the stop and had started revving her engine toward us and we tried to stop her and let her know that the crowd is clearing up just wait a second,” Stewart said. “But, she and her passenger both wanted to go right away so they started to push, they pushed into the woman that was with me and when she pushed again both of us went on the vehicle.”
Stewart said that as Bennett drove he tried to stop her by blocking her view but it was unsuccessful.
“I was just trying to block her vision so she would slow down so I tried to pull myself as far in her way to obstruct her view,” Stewart continued. “She drove through red lights and made her turn up here that threw both of us off the car.”
Watch the video of the incident below.
HIGHER QUALITY VIDEO! All credit to Jaren Vaught!! pic.twitter.com/o6dwO7rghF
— Cole Winston – ACAB (@coleawinston) July 7, 2020