A woman was charged with attempted murder after the car she was driving hit two people during a racial justice demonstration in California that clashed with counter-protests on Saturday, authorities said.
Long Beach, Calif., Driver Tatiana Turner has also been charged with assault with a fatal weapon, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department said in a press release.
The protest, which took place in Yorba Linda, about 35 miles southeast of Los Angeles, was organized by Caravan4Justice, a grassroots protest group that campaigns against police brutality.
The police estimated that a total of 150 people from both contingents began the protest at 2 p.m. on Saturday. 30 minutes later, police said the crowd had grown to about 250 people. The groups started arguing and yelling at each other, as videos show.
The Sheriff’s Department said it had received reports of protesters carrying guns and “physical clashes” between the groups, with at least one protester spraying pepper on another. The authorities declared the gathering to be an unlawful gathering and asked the crowd to disperse, the department said.
After several spread orders, a white limousine in the parking lot of the Yorba Linda Public Library that was being driven by Ms. Turner staggered through a crowd and hit two people, a man and a woman, police said.
Ms. Turner, who was officially participating in the protest as part of the Caravan4Justice group, continued to drive when a swarm of demonstrators tried to stop her car. She was taken into custody at the crime scene. It wasn’t immediately clear on Sunday whether Ms. Turner, 40, had a lawyer.
The two injured were rushed to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries that were expected to survive, Carrie Braun, a spokeswoman for the sheriff’s department, said Sunday.
It was unclear whether they were part of the Caravan4Justice group or the counter-protest group, as both groups came together at that point, she said.
On Thursday, a driver plowed through a crowd in Hollywood protesting the decision not to charge Louisville police officers involved in the murder of Breonna Taylor during a botched robbery on her home in March.
In the months since George Floyd’s death in police custody in Minneapolis in May, there have been dozens of similar incidents in which cars hit protesters in protests against racism and police brutality across the country.
In Bloomington, Indiana, a woman accused of driving her car through a crowd of protesters was charged with injuring at least two people on two cases of criminal recklessness, a felony, and leaving a scene too serious Bodily harm resulted in injury.
In Seattle, authorities said a man got into a protest and killed a protester. He was charged with vehicle murder, assault and reckless driving. And a man was arrested in Brooklyn in June after hitting at least one person with his car during a Black Lives Matter march.