A Black Lives Matter protest against police brutality and systemic racism was met with a counterprotest and turned violent when a car drove through the crowd in Yorba Linda on Saturday afternoon.
The driver, a 40-year-old Long Beach woman described as a Black Lives Matter supporter, was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and attempted murder, authorities said.
The BLM march took place on Imperial Highway near Yorba Linda Boulevard, with counterprotesters shouting insults while carrying American flags and Trump 2020 banners gathered along the other side. At one point, the counterprotesters crossed the six-lane highway and confronted the BLM group. Face-to-face, the sides alternately shouted “Black Lives Matter” and “U.S.A.”
As the conflict grew more heated, with reports that some people had weapons, sheriff’s officials declared an unlawful assembly and ordered all protesters to disperse.
Moments later, a white sedan in the Yorba Linda Public Library parking lot accelerated through the crowd.
At least two people – a man and a woman – had major injuries and were transported to a hospital but were expected to survive, authorities said. The man’s bloodied right leg had a bandage around it tied on by a piece of cloth with an American flag design.
People chased the car, which stopped a few hundred yards away and was surrounded by sheriff’s deputies.
It was not immediately clear how fast the car was going. The back windshield was broken out and appeared to have a flagpole sticking out of it. The front windshield was smashed.
The driver, Tatiana Turner of Long Beach, was attending the protest as a supporter of Caravan for Justice, said Orange County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Carrie Braun. The group, which planned Saturday’s event, campaigns against police violence.
No other injuries were reported.
It was the second incident involving a car going into a protest in Southern California this week.
Thursday night, someone was struck by an SUV speeding by a crowd of demonstrators in Hollywood on the second night of protests related to the death of Breonna Taylor by Louisville, Kentucky, police officers.
Shortly before 9 p.m., a black SUV went by the crowd, striking a protester before speeding away. The Los Angeles Fire Department took one person to a hospital, according to the LAFD’s Nicholas Prange.
Taylor, a 26-year-old emergency medical worker, was fatally shot in her apartment early on March 13 by officers executing a search warrant. Taylor’s boyfriend, who said he thought someone was breaking into their home, fired through the door and hit an officer. Police returned fire and Taylor was killed.
No officer was charged in her death.
Earlier this month, a car drove through a Black Lives Matter protest in Times Square held to honor Daniel Prude, who died during a confrontation with police in March. His family released video recently showing that officers placed a “spit hood” over his head, then pressed his head into the ground while he lay on the street naked and handcuffed.
Following release of that video, protests broke out nationwide and seven officers were suspended.
The BLM demonstration in Yorba Linda came three days after a deputy shot and killed a homeless Black man in San Clemente. Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes released a grainy video he said showed the man was reaching for a deputy’s gun.
The San Clemente City Council imposed a curfew Thursday night, but a protest against police brutality in the wake of the shooting broke up an hour before the 9 p.m. deadline. No violence was reported that night.
Planning for the Yorba Linda eventbegan as early as Sept. 17, Braun said. That was a week before the San Clemente shooting and the announcement about the Taylor grand jury.
Additional teams were on hand Saturday “to protect the First Amendment rights of both sides to protest peacefully,” Braun said.
Authorities requested that rival demonstrators keep their distance and they initially complied, she said. However, members of both groups began to engage with one another and some physical altercations were reported.
At least one protester pepper sprayed another, Braun said. An Anaheim man, Jason Mancuso, 46, was arrested on suspicion of failing to obey the dispersal order.
© Copyright (c) 2020, Daily Breeze, All Rights Reserved
This content is published through a licensing agreement with Acquire Media using its NewsEdge technology.