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Man Accused of Trying to Hit BLM Protesters Beaten After Crash

Police are trying to find out exactly what happened Sunday night near BLM rally in Portland, Ore.
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 17, 2020 8:57 AM CDT

(Newser) – A man who crashed his vehicle a few blocks from a Black Lives Matter rally in Portland, Ore., on Sunday is now in the hospital, but what put him there wasn't the accident. Per the Oregonian, the report on the injured man in the city's downtown area came in to police around 10:30pm, with videos circulating on social media showing him in the street near his disabled white Ford truck, being yelled at and assaulted by bystanders. Protesters claimed he'd been antagonizing them at the nearby rally and had tried to hit them with his truck before driving away and crashing onto the sidewalk, the Washington Post reports. In one clip, the man, seen kneeling and trying to use his cellphone, is kicked in the head and pushed back to the ground by bystanders, who wanted him to stay put until cops got there. The man isn't seen fighting back in that footage.

Tensions briefly eased, with the crowd letting the man try to make a call, until the man told them, "I ain't trying to hurt no one down there." That statement infuriated at least one person in the crowd, who can be seen punching the man in the face and then kicking him in the head, sending the man flying backward onto the pavement and knocking him unconscious. A second graphic video shows the aftermath of that, with the man lying on the ground, bleeding from his head. "The driver was transported to the hospital by ambulance with serious injuries," Portland Sgt. Kevin Allen said in a statement to the Washington Post, adding that the initial report that came in Sunday night indicated protesters were chasing the truck before it crashed. Police are now trying to determine if that's true, and if the man was trying to hit protesters with his truck or otherwise intimidate them. (Read more Portland, Oregon stories.)

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