- Since George Floyd’s murder, at least three protesters have died in car-ramming incidents.
- Less than half of the car-ramming incidents examined by the Boston Globe resulted in charges.
- Several states have recently considered bills that protect drivers who hit or kill protesters.
Since the murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, at least 139 drivers have rammed their vehicles into protests, resulting in hundreds of injuries and three deaths, according to a Boston Globe investigation of research data and local news coverage on the trend.
Most individuals behind the wheel of these incidents have gone largely unpunished: 65 of the 139 incidents analyzed by the Globe resulted in charges, and only four drivers were convicted of a felony.
“They pick and choose who the law protects,” Thomas Ryan Knight told the Globe. Knight was at a Black Lives Matter protest in Oklahoma six days after Floyd’s death when he was struck by a pickup truck and paralyzed, according to the Tulsa World.
“I just don’t want what happened to me to happen to anybody else, regardless of what they believe in,” Knight told the Globe.
Since the incident, Oklahoma passed a law penalizing protesters who block public roadways and protecting drivers who are “fleeing from a riot” and unwittingly hit or kill a protester with their car, so long as they have “reasonable belief” they are in danger.