NEW YORK: A motorist struck about half a dozen people taking part in a protest in New York City on Friday, causing injuries but no deaths, police and eyewitnesses said.
“A New York Police Department spokesman told AFP that at 9.08pm GMT, the vehicle struck “many” individuals in Manhattan’s Murray Hill neighbourhood.
“There were an undisclosed number of people wounded. They were taken to different hospitals. Also, it is not considered that any of the wounds are life-threatening,’ he said.
The spokesman added that the driver, a woman, was in custody and had remained at the scene.
Then, if it was deliberate or a traffic accident, the spokesperson said it was too early to tell” and it is not yet clear if the driver will face charges.
Eyewitnesses have said that they have seen at least six people injured.
They were protesting against Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents’ detention of immigrants. In solidarity of the detainees on hunger strike, the demonstrators marched.
Initially, local media claimed that the rally had been a demonstration by Black Lives Matter.
About 40 and 50 demonstrators were in the area at the time, ABC News reported.
The outlet said that the rally had spilled onto the street and that a vehicle had been surrounded by demonstrators.
The car then drove into the protesters, injuring at least six of them, ABC added.
NBC was told by an eyewitness that the car was a navy BMW with two white women seated in the front seats.
“They hit at least six of our non-violent protesters, to my knowledge,” she told the network, adding that she ran out of the vehicle.
“I heard people crying,” she said, “I looked behind me and) a woman was ploughing through.
Furthermore, the protester added that she saw “bodies flying” through the air as people scrambled to get out of the vehicle’s path.
“I look up, the car is speeding, people are trying to run. There were bodies and people fleeing to people sitting on the sidewalks who got hit.”
In addition, a protester called Joey, who declined to give his surname, told AFP that he thought the woman had accelerated into the crowd on purpose.
“It was absolutely intentional. (She) just drove right through,” he said.
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