July 25, 2021

NC driver charged after video shows SUV run over BLM protester in Tennessee crosswalk

A Black Lives Matter protester standing in a crosswalk in Johnson City, Tennessee, was hit by a white SUV with North Carolina tags over the weekend, video shared on social media shows.

Now a driver has been charged.

Jared Benjamin Lafer, a 37-year-old from Bakersville, North Carolina, was charged with one count of aggravated assault after turning himself in Monday, the Johnson City Police Department said in a news release. More than 900 people signed a Change.org petition asking police to charge Lafer with attempted vehicular homicide before his arrest was announced.

Bakersville is about an hour southeast of Johnson City just over the North Carolina border.

The incident was captured in a video shared on Facebook. In the 22-second clip, a protester is seen standing Saturday at the hood of a white SUV.

A yellow crosswalk sign looms behind him.

The vehicle — which had been stopped — then accelerates, knocking the protester to the ground. Another protester is seen jumping out of the way.

“Oh my god!” the person recording can be heard saying as the SUV drives off.


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