An incident between a motorist and protesters took place in Sonoma County Saturday night which sparked a police investigation and claims on both sides that they were victims of an unprovoked attack.
Alea Sanders, the leader of the protest, says the otherwise peaceful Black Lives Matter demonstration march which she organized in Santa Rosa nearly turned deadly when a white SUV suddenly sped through the crowd as dozens of people were protesting in the middle of Sonoma Avenue.
“At that point, my only concern was, ‘Is anybody dead?’ because what I saw was a lot of things flying through the air and people screaming,” Sanders stated. “I mean it was traumatic. I mean there were children in the crowd.”
Sanders says two protesters suffered small injuries as they dove out of the way of the vehicle, an SUV Santa Rosa police say was driven by a nurse who had just completed her shift at a local hospital.
The driver informed investigators she only drove through the protestors after she claimed they started throwing things, including a skateboard and a bike, at her SUV.
“From what she reported, she became scared, panicked and so she tried to get through the crowd and out of there as soon as possible and then pulled over,” stated Lt. Jeneane Kucker. “Then a subject on a bicycle who had given chase punched her through her open window.”
Police released images of the reported damage to the SUV, including a broken mirror and damaged windshield.
But demonstrators told police, the car was only damaged as a reaction after it sped through their group.
“First and foremost, I want justice served,” stated Sanders. “I want her arrested. I want her charged with attempted murder because that’s what that was.”
“It’s a difficult situation and we’re trying to sort it out and investigate it as best we can,” stated Cooker.
Anyone with details about this incident is free to contact Santa Rosa police at (707) 528-5222.