New York City police say Trump supporters clashed with Black Lives Matter protesters on Thursday night in Times Square. The result was a car plowing through a crowd that had converged in the streets of midtown to decry the police-involved death of Daniel Prude.
According to witness accounts obtained by CBS 2 New York, at approximately 8:10 p.m. the driver of a black sedan hit at least two or three people who were present with bikes. Based on cell phone footage posted to social media, it appears that the driver first honked several times before plowing into the group of protesters in Times Square. People can be heard screaming and chasing the car down in the rain as it speeds off. EarthCam caught the car as it quickly whipped around the corner after the encounter.
NYPD noted to CBS2 that earlier in the evening a standoff had occurred between a pro-Trump rally and a Black Lives Matter march. When the situation began to intensify, police directed a Trump supporter to leave the area in his vehicle and instructed him to take a specific route. Instead, they say he drove through the crowd of Black Lives Matter demonstrators.
Theories are circulating online about who was involved in the Times Square attack, but neither the identity of the driver nor any passengers have been released. In response, NYPD also issued a statement via Twitter saying, “There is an ongoing investigation into an incident in Times Square involving a black Taurus sedan. This auto is NOT an NYPD vehicle.” According to most accounts, nobody was seriously injured, though a photo posted by @protest_nyc on Twitter suggests at least one person may have received medical aid for a non-life-threatening wound.
Hours before the march in Times Square, seven Rochester police officers involved in the death of Daniel Prude were suspended. This follows the release of body cam footage that shows a naked Prude going lifeless after a police officer placed a spit hood over his head. On arrival at the hospital, the 41-year-old was pronounced brain dead. Seven days later he passed away.