A video of the incident shows a Ford Taurus driving through a crowd of Black Lives Matter protesters, including people appearing to block the vehicle with bicycles, during a rainy Thursday evening. The vehicle then stops momentarily before speeding off.
“What happened last night was not a peaceful protest,” Juliet Germanotta said Friday on Facebook Live. “A mob tried to physically assault, and in my opinion, tried to kill us. These individuals do not care about justice. They do not care about law and order. I do not know what these people care about, but they do not care about human lives.”
One unidentified protester told WABC-TV the driver of the vehicle tried going through a red light.
“If you go through a red light when there are people in the crosswalk, you are accepting the chance that you hit somebody,” the protester said.
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Germanotta, who has been arrested several times for vandalizing a Black Lives Matter mural in front of Trump Tower, was part of a handful of Trump supporters staging a counter-demonstration.
She said her group was told by police to leave the area just after 8 p.m. No one has come forward to complain of any injuries from the incident, WABC-TV reported.
Many speculated the car was an unmarked New York police vehicle, which the NYPD later disputed. However, the license plate matched a Ford Taurus police interceptor linked to pro-police activist Hakim Gibson, Gothamist reported. The publication said Facebook posts by Gibson indicated the car was purchased at an auction and outfitted with a push bumper and spotlight.
In this frame grab from a video by @datainput from the New York City Police Department Twitter account, a car moves through protesters, in New York’s Times Square on Thursday. The New York Police Department says it is trying to find the car that drove through a group of Black Lives Matter protesters blocking a street in Times Square. (New York City Police Dept. via AP)
“Our lives were in jeopardy,” Germanotta said, according to the news station. “Over 300 people, part of the other protest, started verbally harassing and taunting us. Started following us, when police tried to escort us up 46th Street. We then proceeded to get into a car. The protesters got to 46th Street, blocked us in, started trying to open the car, hit the car. The driver then drove through to try to get us to safety.”
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“My life was verbally threatened,” she added. “Multiple occasions, people said they were going to get me, they were going to hurt me, they were going to kill me, that my life doesn’t matter.”
On Facebook Live, Germanotta said she’s received 200 death threats on social media since the incident. She added that she did not vote for Trump in 2016, but would be doing so in November.
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