Teen driver hits crowd of Columbus Day protesters
By Red Power Media, Staff | Oct 11, 2016
Police continue to investigate a case in which five people were sent to hospital after being hit by a truck during a confrontation at a rally as part of Indigenous People’s Day in downtown Reno, Nevada.
On Monday evening a man rammed his truck through a group of Native American activists protesting the observance of Columbus Day – also in solidarity with the fight against the controversial Dakota Access pipeline.
According to CBS News, the founder of a Native American rights group that was rallying in Reno, when the pickup truck plowed through protesters wants to know why police haven’t arrested the driver.
One woman remained hospitalized Tuesday with non-life threatening injuries. Four others suffered minor injuries in what one witness described as a hate crime.
Another said two men in the truck had been yelling obscenities at the protesters earlier in the day.
A Facebook Live video of the protest shows a pickup truck revving its engine in front of the crowd under the Reno Arch. Several protesters confronted the driver and the passenger before the truck drives through the crowd.
The driver of the white Nissan pickup stopped several blocks away and called police “to provide his account of the events,” Reno Police Sgt. James Pitsnogel said in a statement early Tuesday.
The 18-year-old male driver and a 17-year-old passenger have been questioned but no arrests were made.
CBS Reno affiliate KTVN-TV reports that the 40 or so gathered protesters did not have a permit, and that protesters said they were there supporting the and to bring awareness to hate against indigenous people.
Mike Graham, founder of the Oklahoma-based United Native American Association, said he planned to meet with Reno police Tuesday to find out more about the incident.
“We are truly upset that he is not in custody. He left the scene of an accident,” he told The Associated Press.
Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve said Tuesday she takes the matter “very seriously.”
“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,” she said Tuesday afternoon in a statement on behalf of herself and the city council.
“The Reno Police Department will hold anyone responsible accountable for their actions once the investigation has concluded,” Schieve said, adding that she respects an individual or group’s right to conduct lawful protest.
The investigation is ongoing.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact the Reno Police Department.