Saturday, October 22, 2016

Pickup truck rams into crowd of protesters in Reno Nevada

Police are investigating after a pickup truck plowed into a group of demonstrators for native rights in downtown Reno Nevada on Monday night.

The appended video shows occupants of the vehicle arguing with the protesters then revving the engine and speeding into the crowd. Reno police chief Jason Soto said the 18-year old male who was driving the vehicle along with a 17-year old passenger contacted police just three minutes after the incident as they were several blocks away. Both he and his passenger are cooperating with the police.
A 59-year old woman was sent to the hospital with injuries resulting from the rampage. Three other people were hurt. According to the police about 40 protesters were blocking Virginia Street in front of a famous arch that has the Reno slogan "Biggest Little City in the World". As a group of protesters surrounded the truck which was revving its engine, they told the occupants that that they need to go in a different direction. Some shouted "Stand your ground". There were screams as the truck sped ahead and some were knocked to the ground.
Quanah Brightman, executive director of United Native Americans told the Reno Gazette-Journal that the action was a "hate crime." The police chief said that investigators were still looking at a great deal of video of the incident and urged anyone with video of the incident to come forward with any video or photos they might have. Although Soto did not say whether the incident was being regarded as a hate crime he did say that some of the footage was "very horrifying" After the incident the driver was not immediately arrested.
Taylor Wayman, who was at the rally but not a member of the sponsoring group told the Associated Press: “They drove by once as we were walking toward the arch, yelling obscenities. I heard the driver ask one of the protesters, ‘Do you want me to kill your homies?’ and that really set everybody off.
Mike Graham, founder of the United Native American Association based in Oklahoma which sponsored the rally said he was planning to meet with Reno police on Tuesday to find out why the driver of the pickup had not been arrested.
The protest was about Columbus Day. There were signs criticizing the Dakota Access Pipeline as well. The Standing Rock Siousx tribe claim the project is a threat to their water supply among other problems it poses.
The Reno mayor, Hillary Schieve, issued the following statement:This incident is troublesome and saddens us deeply. I take these matters very seriously, and I believe they must be investigated thoroughly and promptly. Public safety is our highest priority, and I want all Reno residents to know that we are working swiftly and diligently to make sense of the events that took place last night. Please be advised that the Reno Police Department will hold anyone responsible accountable for their actions once the investigation has concluded.
The woman who was taken to the hospital, Kitty Colbert said she feels "pretty strongly" about the police not arresting the driver of the truck that hit her. She said:"He had the choice to go around either direction on the street, and he deliberately plowed right through us, and I got run over. I got run over and now I have several pelvic fractures, a sacral fracture and one in my hips as well, a small fracture. I want them to arrest this guy. I mean, I know the guy in the passenger seat didn't press the gas pedal, but the guy that was diving needs to be arrested. I feel that this was attempted vehicular homicide. He could've killed me, and he didn't care. He didn't care that there were babies out there. He didn't care that there were youth, and children and elders. He just didn't care."
On Tuesday Police Chief Soto said that they had made contact with the driver of the pickup but had made no arrest as they were still examining video evidence. Soto said the demonstrators did not have a permit from the city to hold a demonstration. United Native Americans have their own Facebook page.

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