A Sacramento County sheriff’s deputy was caught on video striking a protester with his patrol SUV then fleeing the scene during a protest over the killing of Stephon Clark.
Protesters who witnessed the incident claim the deputy hit the woman at a high rate speed of speed, while authorities say the vehicle was moving slowly and justified the hit and run by claiming the deputy was responding to a dangerous situation created by some of the demonstrators, reported CNN.
Tanya Faison, founder of Black Lives Matter’s Sacramento chapter, was furious about what the deputy did to a peaceful protester.
“This is their response to a community in outrage and pain; this is just another glaring example of the reckless nature of Sacramento law enforcement,” said Faison. “We will continue to demand justice for not just Stephon, but for all lives that have been unjustly taken at the hands of law enforcement.”
According to a video from the National Lawyers Guild Legal Observers, During the Saturday night vigil, a woman walked in front of a sheriff’s vehicle and motioned the driver to stop. The deputy then struck her and drove away.
“The vehicle accelerated and struck her, accelerated very fast and struck her violently and she fell to the ground,” Guy Danilowitz, a legal observer who recorded the video said. “It was a very fast acceleration, not the way you would move with people around.”
Watch the video of the incident below via The Washington Post:
The woman suffered minor injuries and was taken to a hospital.
Police spokesman Sgt. Shaun Hampton said the collision occurred at slow speeds, but did not comment on Danilowitz’s observation that the deputy accelerated very quickly while in a crowd of people. He also noted other protesters caused scratches, dents and a shattered rear window to the vehicle following the collision.
CHP is investigating the hit and run, but would not clarify if they are classifying it as a hit and run.
Stephon Clark was shot by police while unarmed and in his grandparents back yard on March 18. Officers shot at him 20 times, hitting him 8 times, 6 in the back, 1 in the neck and 1 in the leg, according to an independent autopsy by Dr. Bennet Omalu.
Officers claimed they thought he had a gun, but only a cell phone was found at the site of his killing.Suspicions about the officers were raised even more when the officers muted the microphones on their body cameras for a private discussion shortly after they killed Clark.