NYC protests: Civil Rights activists demand arrest of driver who drove through BLM protest in Times Square

Passenger in car that drove through BLM protesters paints different story
TIMES SQUARE, Manhattan (WABC) -- Civil Rights activists are demanding for the arrest of the driver who plowed into Black Lives Matter protesters in Times Square.

Reverend Kevin McCall and attorney Sanford Rubenstein are calling for the Manhattan District Attorney to open up a criminal investigation and for the driver of the vehicle to be charged.

Two people came forward Saturday and spoke with police about the encounter that took place Thursday night, according to Rubenstein.

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Civil Rights officials demand for arrest of driver who hit Black Lives Matter protesters in Times Square.



Police say they have identified the owner of a car seen on video driving through the crowd of protesters, and they plan to interview as many people involved as possible.

Demonstrators gathered at the Crossroads of the World Friday night, protesting what happened there the day before.

Protesters blamed the police for failing to arrest the driver, who drove his car through a group of protesters.

The incident happened when a Black Lives Matter march encountered the vehicle, whose occupants had previously participated in a pro-Trump counter-protest in Duffy Square.

The black Ford Taurus was eastbound on 46th Street when it stopped at a red light at Broadway, and at that moment, the protest -- comprised of a few hundred people -- started to move in that direction onto 46th Street.

The car involved appears to be formerly used as a police cruiser, complete with a bull bar in the front, likely purchased at a surplus auction. Police say it was not an NYPD vehicle.

The protesters were said to have recognized the vehicle from the prior counter-protests and surrounded it, including a bicyclist who blocked the car from moving further.

Two people struck the car window, one with a punch and one banging on it. At that point, the car started to accelerate through the crowd and ultimately sped away, making an illegal right onto Broadway into traffic.

However, for the six people who were in the car that sped away, including Juliet Germanotta, they paint a frightening picture of the events.

"Our lives were in jeopardy," Germanotta said. "Over 300 people, part of the other protest, started verbally harassing and taunting us. Started following us, when police tried to escort us up 46th Street. We then proceeded to get into a car. The protesters got 46th Street, blocked us in, started trying to open the car, hit the car. The driver then drove through to try to get us to safety."
Germanotta, who has been arrested at least three times for vandalizing the Black Lives Matter mural in front of Trump Tower by pouring paint on it, spoke as she left the Midtown North NYPD Precinct on Friday.
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Juliet Germanotta was a passenger in the vehicle that drove through a crowd of Black Lives Matter protesters in Times Square Thursday.



"My life was verbally threatened," she said. "Multiple occasions, people said they were going to get me, they were going to hurt me, they were going to kill me, that my life doesn't matter."

She says that the Black Lives Matter protesters had assaulted someone in her group, striking her and ripping a hat off her head, prior to them being escorted away by police.

"As soon as the car started moving, so many people came in front of the car on 46th Street and would not let us pass," she said. "I heard people trying to open the door. I heard something really heavy hit the car, and that's when we just went."

The NYPD continues to investigate the incident.

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