Occupy D.C. tension with police increasing
MPD officers are claiming that "Occupy" protests are turning violent while a second incident involving a car running into a crowd of protesters on Friday night was revealed.
Protesters on Monday released a new police report that shows a fourth protester was hit by a car during a protest on Friday night at the convention center. Minutes later, a family of three was also struck a block away.
In that case, D.C. police said earlier the 38-year-old driver from Clinton, Md. was not cited because he had a green light. Witnesses told police that the victims who were hit either ran toward or jumped in front of the car.
In both cases, police reports show it was a silver sedan that hit the pedestrians. Witnesses say it was the same silver Lexus.
Protesters marched from McPherson Square to the Convention Center and then to police headquarters Monday, upset that the driver of the vehicle has not been charged.
Initially, police said the protesters who were hit had been drinking and jumped in front of the Lexus.
Police have since acknowledged that the protesters were not drunk and one of the victims was a 13-year-old, witnesses said.
Police Chief Cathy Lanier refused to meet with reporters Monday but issued a statement saying, “demonstrators have become increasingly confrontational and violent toward uninvolved bystanders and motorists.”
In response, the protesters released a statement saying, “There is no evidence to show that protesters directly caused any injuries to anyone. The injuries cited by police were perpetrated by others against peaceful Occupy DC protesters - making today's police statement all the more dishonest.”
Lanier also released video of protesters confronting people at the Convention Center. In the video, the victim of the alleged hit-and-run can be seen blocking the entrance as people are trying to leave.