A peaceful protest on Thursday night in Hollywood turned suddenly violent when a pickup truck sped through a crowd of marchers, dragged one person on the hood of the vehicle, and launched them to the ground.
The truck then sped away, barely missing others in the crowd.
The harrowing scene was captured with a cell phone video and posted to the internet, where it was shared thousands of times.
According to the Los Angeles Times, demonstrators initially gathered a couple hours before in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery before leaving to march along Sunset Boulevard. It was there the truck first encountered protesters and then escalated into the violent act caught on camera.
The protesters had gathered to express their outrage in response to Wednesday’s announcement that only one police officer was charged with a crime in connection with the killing of Breonna Taylor during a no-knock raid of her apartment in Louisville, Kentucky in March.
People across Los Angeles, as well as the entire U.S., deemed that single charge―not murder, but the far less severe “wanton endangerment”―to be insufficient justice. And so they took to the streets.
According to photojournalist Christian Monterrosa, who witnessed the pickup truck calamity and spoke with the Los Angeles Times, the truck was unique in its unwillingness to yield to marchers:about:blank
“I would say the truck instigated the incident, definitely.”
Monterrosa explained that the truck was driving against the flow of the marchers, inched forward into the thick of the crowd, and then hit the gas.
A Los Angeles Fire Department spokesperson said paramedics rushed the victim to the hospital, but they suffered only minor injuries.
Los Angeles Police Department officers caught up with the pickup truck and identified the driver, though they did not immediately arrest him, according to Captain Steve Lurie, who leads LAPD’s Hollywood division.
The decision not to immediately make an arrest, Lurie maintained, was because the driver claimed that protesters attacked his car. An investigation is ongoing.
Viewers of the graphic video were forced to juggle anger and horror.
This is not the first time a vehicle has sped through a crowd of protesters in the last few months, and it may not be the last, but demonstrators’ anger and impatience show few signs of slowing.