Video Shows Car Driving Into Crowd of Protesters in Times Square

The New York Police Department refuted previous reports that the vehicle—a black Ford Taurus—was an unmarked police car. Minor injuries have been reported.

Times Square protest

Image via Getty/Spencer Platt

Times Square protest

Authorities say an investigation is underway after video showed a vehicle driving through a group of demonstrators in Midtown Manhattan.

According to the Gothamist, the incident occurred Thursday night near the Times Square pedestrian plaza, where a black Ford Taurus rammed through a crowd of Black Lives Matter protesters. Footage captured the vehicle honking and pulling up to a line up people who were using their bikes to block the road; the driver then accelerates and plows through the group before speeding off.

WNYC reporter Gwynne Hogan, who was at the scene, said people were "rattled" but there didn't appear to be any major injuries.

Car drives through protesters, Times Square, New York City, Thursday, September 3, 2020

— DataInput (@datainput) September 4, 2020

Shortly after the footage began circulating online, Twitter users began claiming the Ford Taurus was an unmarked police car. The New York Police Department denied those reports. An NYPD spokesperson also told the Gothamist that the driver has yet to be apprehended.

There is an ongoing investigation into an incident in Times Square involving a black Taurus sedan. This auto is NOT an NYPD vehicle.

— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) September 4, 2020

"My office is looking into tonight’s incident in Times Square," NYC council member Keith Powers tweeted. "Hoping everyone is safe. Using a vehicle to hurt peaceful protesters is unacceptable and must be stopped."

A number of outlets reported the Times Square demonstration was in response to the death of Daniel Prude, a 29-year-old Black man who suffocated to death after being restrained by Rochester police. Newly released body cam footage showed officers placing a "spit hood" over Prude's head before pinning his face down to the ground for more than two minutes. Prude eventually lost consciousness and remained on life support for about seven days. A medical examiner determined his death was a homicide caused by "complications of asphyxia in the setting of physical restraint."

The seven officers who were involved in Prude's death were suspended this week.

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