Peaceful Protesters Hit By Car … Police Charge Protesters, Not Driver

Police Harass Protesters, Not The Driver Who Hit Them

Several peaceful protesters were struck by a car in Washington, DC. But the police charged the protesters, not the driver.

AP reports:

Lt. Christopher Micciche (MITCH’-ih-kay) of the D.C. police said the driver was not cited because he had a green light when his vehicle struck the three on Friday night.

He said witnesses told police that the three pedestrians “either ran toward or jumped in front of the moving vehicle.” He said one pedestrian jumped on the hood of the car. One of them was cited for being in the roadway.

“The protesters were apparently trying to block the roadway,” Micciche said. “It was essentially an accident where three individuals were injured but they were in violation by being in the roadway.”

But the Washington Post points out that the protesters have a very different version of events:
he witness accounts provided by the police contradicted the description of the events some protesters gave The Post.

The witness accounts provided by the police contradicted the description of the events some protesters gave The Post.

About 500 protesters stood in the streets at half a dozen intersections around the building, preventing cars from coming or going.

Several said that their aim was to prevent those inside from leaving.

One the protesters appeared to be struck at the center of the convention center, where M Street bisects the building. Two others were standing near the intersection of New York Avenue and 7th Street NW, according to eyewitnesses.

Jesse Folks, 29, of Riverdale, said he was standing in the street with several dozen protesters near the convention center when the car “just gassed it into a bunch of people.”

When asked whether the protesters should have been standing in the street at all, Folks said, “we were in the street, but this guy didn’t even give us a chance to get out of the way.”

Crooks and Liars notes:

I was at this press conference last night with the Assistant DC Police Chief.

The Sippel Family, two mothers, one pregnant and their 13-year-old son in from Dayton, Ohio were mowed down by a driver near a Koch brothers protest at their Americans for Prosperity conference in DC on Friday night. They were taken to the hospital where they were issued citations (while being wheeled into a CT scan) for going against the “don’t walk” sign and obstructing an intersection. The driver of the car was let go with no citations at all.

The police admitted they are not aware of a second incident – before the Sippels were hit – involving a young woman who’s recovering from her injuries.

What didn’t make it into the video is the statement from the police chief: “All we’ve done in the last 24-hours is to interview two non-involved witnesses.”

So really, if you want to plow into pedestrians in DC – apparently you just have to do it in front of “involved witnesses” and no one sees nothing.

The guy hit four people in two separate incidents a block away from each other. He struck a pregnant tourist and her 13-year-old son in front of a hundred witnesses and video cameras. It’s injustice and outrageous.

See my exclusive video of the moment police let the driver drive away here.

Hard to Take In a Vacuum, Given Related Incidents

Of course, it is difficult to take this event in a vacuum, given such incidents as the Army ranger brutally beaten in Oakland and then arrested, the New York motorcycle police man running over a legal observer in New York and then arresting him (and see this), and related incidents.

In Response, DC Police Chief Says Police Will Get Tougher … On Protesters

One would assume that the police chief – when faced with a public outcry over the hit-and-run incident – would vow to vigorously  protect the protesters against all attacks.

Instead, she announced that she was going to “get tough” on the protesters.

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  • Fred

    You know, I don’t care who you are, or what you’re ‘protesting’… I might even agree with it… but if 500 plus people in the street intentionally attempted to PREVENT ME FROM LEAVING somewhere, my foot wouldn’t be hovering over the brake pedal… knowhuttamean, Vern?


  • He was probably a police informer who had his arm twisted, but was told beforehand that they would let him go.

  • PRichards

    The cops have no witnesses. Saying they have witnesses makes them sound credible but the truth is if the cops don’t bring these alleged witnesses forward their claims are nothing more than vacuous hearsay, at best.

    This car ‘accident’ btw sure reminds of Arab Spring Egypt where those cars slammed into protesters and then drove off and afaik nothing ever happened to those drivers

  • Ed Jewett

    Seen elsewhere:

    Peter Anna (Riverdale)
    My letter to Keith Olbermann. Please feel free to repost anywhere you like, as long as the message is in its entirety.

    Dear Mr. Olbermann:

    My name is Peter J. Anna: I am an overworked and underpaid community manager/property inspector who works for a rinky-dink community management agency. Two friends and I went down to Occupy DC to take part in the rally outside of the Convention Center on the evening of Friday, November 4, 2011. I arrived late as I had taken half of the day to attend to repairs to my Jeep, which I drove down to downtown to give us a way out that didn’t involve the Metro in case things ran late. I parked north of the demonstration and walked the remaining eight blocks or so to the protests and got there at approximately 8 PM and joined my friends. We usually migrated between 7th and L and 7th and Mt. Vernon/New York Avenue, respectively. I can provide specific directional and positional data on the relevant parties to the event, as I am a freelance cartographer who drew a map of DC down to the building footprints. After a few hundred hours of drawing maps representing DC and canvassing it on foot to verify the accuracy of the data, I am always acutely positionally aware in downtown DC. Any of the other persons CC’ed on this email can attest to the veracity of my statements, honesty of my character and experience in my field. Please let me know if you want maps and drawings, and what format you would prefer them in. I am attempting to find people to post video of the incident itself: it is unsurprising that no public security camera footage was released.

    Here is my description of events as noted last night when I got home, while the memory of the incident was fresh. I did not stay to discuss the incident in depth with other protestors, as I did not want my memory and therefore eyewitness account to be diluted, pronouns edited for clarity:

    The vehicle in question was a metallic Lexus, male driver, Maryland plates MD 8AJ-8425. The A was over the J.

    The driver approached at approximately 20-30 MPH and slowed down as he pulled up to a line of demonstrators blocking the street, stopped as protesters standing at arms distance from each other stepped together shoulder to shoulder and blocked his vehicle from the front. The driver then revved his engine and advanced haltingly, menacing the crowd, and then gunned it. A male demonstrator was hit and went up on the hood and rolled off to the side; a female demonstrator was struck and got dragged about fifteen feet. I stayed with the victim and made sure she was safe and getting treatment. My longtime friend Jesse Folks chased after the car with a pack of other demonstrators as the guy bolted southbound at well over 30 mph at first; he got a block, couldn’t merge into traffic (red light) and got caught up to and surrounded. The demonstrators there were shouting “SHAME!” Apparently a third demonstrator was hit between 7th & Mt. Vernon/NY Ave and 7th and K. Then the cops got involved. When the ambulance and fire truck came to deliver medical assistance and block the street, I went to join him, as professional paramedics trump no longer certified first aid training.

    Let us be clear about something.

    There were at least two other exits that we intentionally opened and left unblocked north of us at the time of the hit, whether there was a green light at southbound 7th and Mt. Vernon/NY Ave at the time of impact or no. There was definitely no green light at 7th and K a block south, as traffic was crossing the intersection when they chased him, which is the only reason the demonstrators on foot caught up with a vehicle moving at nearly 40 MPH. Jesse and I were previously holding the barricade at 7th and L and all decided to move down to 7th and MT Vernon Place/New York Ave with the rest of our group for the march out when it went down. REPEAT: OUR PROTEST WAS WINDING DOWN AND THERE WERE ADEQUATE EXITS FOR VEHICLES AT AT LEAST TWO OTHER STREETS WHEN THE MAN DECIDED TO HIT PEOPLE WITH HIS CAR. This wasn’t a “back against the wall, nowhere else to go” issue, or martyrs throwing themselves under the chariots of the Romans. I tell you now that this was a straight up vehicular assault by a person with no empathy for human beings. “You’re in my way intentionally, and you’re a dirty hippie, so I get to run you over”: he was playing the video game “Carmageddon” with a real car and real people to run over for an Extra Style Bonus.

    About “jumping on the hood”. There was a line of people stretched at arms length from each other across the entire street diagonally from the northeast corner to the southwest corner. When he first pulled up people near the vehicle stepped closer to each other to be shoulder to shoulder to make it obvious we weren’t letting him through: that’s kind of the purpose of this protest. He then menaced with his vehicle (a lethal weapon) and floored it, hospitalizing three citizens engaged in legitimate non-violent First Amendment civil disobedience. When dude went on the hood, it was because the driver hit him. Where else is he physically supposed to go, except for under the car, which the female victim did? I know he’s supposed to be a Hippie and all, but not all of us can levitate.

    I stayed with the victim and ensured that no other cars would hit her while she was down; she first received attention from our medics, then the fire department and paramedics came. I ascertained that the girl was getting proper medical attention and did not require my assistance; an ambulance and a fire truck pulled up next to her blocking the intersection, making our blockade moot as she lay on the ground.

    I then went up to the crowd at K/Mass Ave & 7th NW. The vehicle had been moved to the curbside at the intersection and was half surrounded by demonstrators with cameras, understandably pissed, but maintaining their self control. The cops were talking to people and occasionally talking to dude; after a while, it seemed apparent that the incident was being treated as a “ticket” offense and not a “cuffs and a ride” offense. Someone got pissed, and in the space of three seconds, this happened.

    A demonstrator to my right cursed and punched the car between the rear passenger side window and the rear windshield, leaving a fist sized dent in the car’s body. A cop behind me, in the space of half a second brushed past me and immediately jacked dude up, throwing him against the cop car nearby and roughing him up. There is a video displaying the license plate of the car on Youtube that shows the dent at approximately 5 seconds into the video.

    They took down the original video for “Hate Speech”… the title is “Occupy DC Hit By Car This is the Guy with License Plates” YouTube

    At this point everybody started surrounding the new center of attention. I grabbed Jesse by the shoulder strap of his bag and tried to coax him backward: it’s not always good to be in close when you have multiple adrenaline filled cops and a crowd control situation. After a minute of stalemate, we decided to go check on the victims, joined the front door protest for a minute, and joined the march through the streets.

    Let’s just put it this way: if it was cops doing the blocking, at the first rev of his engine, guns would have been drawn. A motor vehicle is (when misused) a 1-4 thousand pound weapon capable of speeds up to 150 MPH. The late model Lexus the guy was driving had enough horses to do some serious damage from the start line. You don’t get use lethal weapons legally unless your life is at stake. The demonstrators never threatened him or menaced him after he stopped for the first time. This was premeditated vehicular assault, plain and simple. The driver should go to jail, and there should be an official review of the decision process that led to the driver being released.

    I am willing to testify in a court of law under oath as to my witness of this vehicular assault. I would be proud to be interviewed with Mr. Folks regarding our eyewitness account of this incident, at the scene with other demonstrators who were present, and provide an accurate accounting of how the media has handled this mess, including the Huffington Post, who while sympathetic at 3:00 AM, have since bent over backwards to tell it from a perspective flattering to the police and the 1%. United the people will never be defeated.

    Sincerely yours,

    Peter James Anna
    Fifth Generation Washingtonian, Citizen of Riverdale, Maryland and Proud Supporter of the Middle Class and the 99%
    (XXX) XXX-XXXX (personal cell)

  • Wooten Berston

    Another Lexus-libertarian strikes a blow for the “freedom” to prey on others according to the sacred principles of some insane old reactionary democracy-hating blowhard from fossilized Austria or some other time-warp wormhole chunk of medieval hooey.

  • No news here: carz v. people. Usually a hundred or so peds get hit by carz in DC every year. Seven or eight die. Karz are kings and everyone must look sharp … to jump out of the way.

    All this nonsense is about the carz in the end: ours is an energy crisis, not nearly so much a debt- or even political crisis. Everything has ‘gone rogue’ because businesses need to borrow to afford the high fuel prices and profits have been stripped out of the system as a consequence.

    Why? Can’t bear to be away from our beloved little darlin’s …

    the carz.