The victims were treated for non-life-threatening injuries at the hospital and released the same day
A suspected white supremacist in North Carolina was arrested after she was accused of striking two Black women with her car during a peaceful protest in North Carolina over the fatal police shooting of Andrew Brown Jr.
Lisa Michelle O’Quinn, a 41-year-old white woman, is accused of driving her vehicle into two 42-year-old women who were “peacefully protesting and exercising their constitutional rights” on Monday evening at the intersection of Ehringhaus Street and Griffin Street in Elizabeth City, North Carolina.
In a video posted on Twitter, a white car is seen hitting two protesters, identified as Michelle Fleming Morris and Valerie Lindsey, causing one to fall to the ground.
The two victims were treated for non-life-threatening injuries at the local hospital and released the same day. As reported by NBC News, O’Quinn has been charged with two counts of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill by use of a motor vehicle, one count of careless and reckless conduct and one count of unsafe movement.
The Elizabeth City Police Department is investigating the incident as a possible hate crime.
Brown Jr., a Black man, was killed by deputies in North Carolina on April 21 as Pasquotank County sheriff’s deputies attempted to serve a warrant for his arrest on felony drug charges. He was shot five times, including in the back of the head, according to an independent autopsy report released by his family’s attorneys.
Demonstrators have taken to the streets in Elizabeth City since the killing. As theGrio reported, District Attorney Andrew Womble said the deputies were justified in their fatal shooting of Brown Jr. outside his Elizabeth City home.
Brown ignored deputies’ commands to stop and began to drive his car directly at one of the officers, Womble said at a news conference. He said the first shot fired at Brown’s car went through the front windshield, not the back, as was previously reported.
Three deputies involved in the shooting remain on leave, while four others who were at the scene were reinstated after the sheriff said they didn’t fire their weapons.
An independent autopsy released by the family found that Brown was hit by bullets five times, including once in the back of the head. Lawyers for Brown’s family who watched body camera footage say that it shows Brown was not armed and that he didn’t drive toward deputies or pose a threat to them.
Womble claims Brown struck deputies twice with his car before any shots were fired. The sheriff’s department said none of the deputies were injured.
The shooting sparked protests over multiple weeks by demonstrators calling for the public release of body camera footage. While authorities have shown footage to Brown’s family, a judge refused to release the video publicly, pending the state investigation.
Chance Lynch, an attorney for the family, said the video shows Brown attempting to move his vehicle away from officers as they fired at him.
“You could see that he was not a threat. There was a shot fired. When the shot was fired, he put the car in reverse, putting several feet, if not yards, away from the police who were there. He turned his wheel to the left, to turn it away from the law enforcement officers,” he said. “At no point did we ever see any police officers behind his vehicle. At no point did we ever see Mr. Brown make contact with law enforcement.”
Civil rights attorney Bakari Sellers, who is also representing the family, called Brown’s death an “unjustified killing” and noted that the killing has prompted the North Carolina State Legislature to examine “changes to the body camera law as we speak, in a bipartisan effort. And that wouldn’t happen but for Andrew Brown.”
*This article contains additional reporting by Associated Press.
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