Car slams into crowd of protesters

A woman has been killed and three other people injured after a man drove into a crowd of demonstrators who were protesting the police shooting death of a black man in Minneapolis.

Police said the man, who may have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol, drove his vehicle into a group of protesters shortly before midnight.

“Protesters pulled the suspect from the vehicle and, from reports of witnesses, began to strike the driver,” the Minneapolis police said in a statement.

“Officers arrived and took custody of the driver.”

A woman, identified as Deona Knajdek, was taken to hospital in critical condition and died of her injuries, police said.

The driver of the vehicle was also hospitalised.

“Preliminary investigation indicates that the use of drugs or alcohol by the driver may be a contributing factor in this crash,” police said.

The demonstrators were protesting the June 3 death of Winston Boogie Smith, who was shot dead by US Marshals who were trying to take him into custody for firearms violations.

Smith’s death came just over a year after that of George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man who was killed by police while being arrested in Minneapolis.

Former police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of murder in April for Floyd’s death, which sparked protests against racial injustice and police brutality around the world.

Victim identified

Mother-of-two Deona Knajdek, 32, was identified as the victim by her family on Monday.

Her brother, Garrett, told the Star Tribune that his sister was “using her car as a street blockade” when another vehicle “struck her vehicle and her vehicle struck her.”

Knajdek was attending a protest against the shooting death of Winston Smith when she was allegedly killed.

“She constantly sacrificing herself for everyone around her,” he said, “no matter the cost, obviously.”

Cops said the suspect was arrested and three people were hurt following the incident in Minneapolis just before midnight.

They were protesting near a garage where Smith was shot dead earlier this month.

Witnesses on social media said that “someone was hit and wasn’t moving” on Lake Street in Girard as cops arrived on the scene with riot gear.

Video footage shows the suspect being held in a chokehold as he is arrested.

The person filming is heard saying: “This [man] just came through 100 miles an hour, smashed this car and he just fing killed her.”

A car was badly damaged and a woman could be seen receiving treatment.

The cameraman adds: “You’re going down boy, you’re going down, it’s over. You b.”

Police said the suspect is in custody but the motive remains unknown.

Cops said the Medical Examiner will release the identity of the victim, along with the nature and cause of death in the coming days.

It comes just days after Minneapolis was engulfed in flames after cops shot dead Winston Boogie Smith Jr.

Protesters took to the streets of Minneapolis and 27 were arrested by police.

The 32-year-old was wanted on an arrest warrant for possession of a firearm by a felon.

US Marshals moved in on him outside a parking garage as he was sat in a stationary car on a parking ramp off Lake Street between Fremont and Hennepin avenues, WCCO reported.

Cops said Smith refused to surrender and “produced a handgun resulting in task force members firing upon the subject.”

Officers attempted lifesaving measures but Smith was pronounced dead at the scene.

Hennepin County deputies were also involved, although it is unclear in what capacity. It is currently unknown who fired the shot that killed Smith.

Officers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave, the Daily Mail reported.

The Minneapolis Police Department said its officers were not involved in the incident.

Family and friends described Smith as a father-of-three who was often harassed by police.

Minneapolis has been on edge since the death of George Floyd just over a year ago, and the fatal shooting of Daunte Wright by an officer in April.

The city has been compared to a war zone with gun violence spiralling out of control.

Several children have been killed in recent weeks.

Trinity Ottoson-Smith, nine, was caught in the crossfire of gun-toting thugs when she was playing in the backyard of her Minneapolis neighbourhood on May 15.

And, six-year-old Aniya Allen was shot in the head on May 17 as she ate McDonald’s in her mom’s car.

– with AFP and The US Sun

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