- Associated Press - Thursday, June 25, 2020

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Florida authorities are searching for the driver of a pickup truck after witnesses said he purposely drove into a crowd of peaceful protesters, knocking down and injuring a woman.

Witnesses said the driver of the red truck approached a popular Tampa intersection Sunday, angered it was blocked by nearly two dozen demonstrators holding signs against police brutality. Video of the incident shows the driver yelling for the protesters to get out of the way as several cars stuck at the intersection honked.

Community organizer Jae Passmore, said “I’m ready to die for what I believe in, so if you’re going to run me over, that’ll be what it is.”

The sound of squealing tired is heard as the truck speeds through the intersection, knocking down Passmore and speeding off. Several witnesses scream. Workers from nearby restaurants run to her aid, the video revealed.

“It was just horrifying,” said Katie Torpey, a waitress who witnessed the incident.

Passmore, who is also a National Guard veteran, suffered a concussion and injuries to her hip and right leg.

Tampa Fire Rescue records show a 911 call was placed Sunday regarding a car driving through a protest. The victim left the scene before first responders arrived, said Tampa Fire Rescue spokesperson Jason Penny.

Investigators from the Tampa Police Department told the Tampa Bay Times they are looking into it.

Brooke Friedland, a manager at nearby pub who witnessed the event, said she approached an officer to report what she’d seen, but was told officers wouldn’t be contacting demonstrators and would take it from there.

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