On Thursday night at around 5:10 ET, a car drove through a group of Black Lives Matter protesters gathered in New York City’s Times Square, according to the person who posted the video on social media. The video shows the car stop for a moment and honk as it nears a crosswalk with a few bikers and pedestrians warning it to stop, but then the vehicle accelerates through the crosswalk.
The video is available here:
After the incident, WNYC reporter Gwynne Hogan, who was on the scene, said: “People are rattled but still don’t see any minor injuries, and most were able to Jump out of way, people still marching now.”
The NYPD Issued a Statement Saying an Investigation Is Ongoing & Denied Social Media Claims That the Vehicle Was an Unmarked Police Car
After the incident, people began sharing on social media that they thought the vehicle was an unmarked police vehicle or that they saw police officers inside. The NYPD denied that in a statement posted to Twitter which reads: “There is an ongoing investigation into an incident in Times Square involving a black Taurus sedan. This auto is NOT an NYPD vehicle.”
In another message, the police department added that there are “currently no complainants. NYPD asks if there is anyone injured, please come forward.”
Anthony Beckford, an NYC city council candidate, posted one of these claims, writing, “A 2013 FORD Taurus SEL ran into peaceful protestors in Times Square who were marching for #DanielPrude. Witnesses stated that there was a Red #MAGA hat in the passenger seat. It is believed that this is an unmarked @NYPDnews car. Plate KED9365.”
In a video posted by reporter Gwynne Hogan showing the aftermath of the incident, protesters can be heard on the video saying: “That was a f****** cop!”
NYC council member Keith Powers wrote on Twitter that he would be looking into the incident and added: “Using a vehicle to hurt peaceful protestors is unacceptable and must be stopped.”
The Protest in Times Square Called for Justice for Daniel Prude, Who Died During a March Incident With Police in Rochester, NY
The latest protests in New York have come after police videos of Prude’s encounter with Rochester police officers were released by his family this week. Prude, a Black man, died in March after suffocating in police custody in Rochester, NY, the New York Times reported. The outlet wrote that Prude was having a psychotic episode and ran naked into the street, telling a passerby that he had COVID-19.
Officers handcuffed him and when he began spitting, they put a mesh bag over his head, the Times wrote. Prude tried to stand up but officers pushed him back down to the pavement, pushing his face into the pavement and holding him down for about two minutes, according to the video footage. The video is available on YouTube, but be warned that it is graphic and may disturb viewers (see it here.)
The police video footage was obtained by the family, who filed a records request and released it on Wednesday this week, sparking outrage and leading to the suspension of seven Rochester police officers involved.