Pickup drives through Tulsa protesters, several injured
TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Several people were injured after a pickup truck drove through a crowd gathered on a Tulsa interstate protesting the death of George Floyd, a protest that occurred on the 99th anniversary of the 1921 Tulsa race massacre.
This year’s anniversary of one of the worst acts of racial violence the country has ever seen — when mobs of white residents attacked black residents and businesses — comes amid nationwide protests sparked by the death of Floyd, a 46-year-old unarmed black man who died last week after a white officer used his knee to pin Floyd’s neck down for several minutes as Floyd pleaded for air and eventually stopped moving.
One of the organizers of the Black Lives Matter rally, Rev. Eric Gill of Metropolitan Baptist Church, said the man driving the red truck “made an intentional effort to drive through” the crowd protesting on Tulsa Interstate 244 on Sunday.
“He put his gun on the dashboard of his car and told everyone, ‘You get out of my way,’” Gill said.
At least two people were taken to the hospital with what law enforcement is describing as “minor injuries.”
The driver was not initially stopped at the scene by law enforcement, but Oklahoma Highway Patrol spokeswoman Sara Stewart said state troopers later stopped the truck and were questioning the driver, according to Tulsa World.
“The fact that they let him go is a microcosm of what we have been going through,” Gill said.
Stewart said troopers met the driver at a different location to get him away from the “agitated” protesters. She says the incident still remains under investigation.