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Legal observer injured as truck drives through Breonna Taylor protest in Buffalo

Mike Desmond / WBFO News
Protesters in front of Buffalo City Hall are stunned after a truck drives through the crowd.

A Breonna Taylor protest march winding its way back to Buffalo City Hall Wednesday evening was disrupted when a pickup truck drove through the crowd and drove away, leaving an injured legal observer on Niagara Square with apparent broken bones.

Protest marches that began with the death of George Floyd in May were given new life Wednesday when a Louisville grand jury did not indict police officers in the death of Taylor in March during a mishandled police drug raid.

Local protesters turned out for a march through downtown Buffalo and into Allentown before returning to Niagara Square. They were on the City Hall sidewalk and also in the street, accompanied by green-hatted legal observers and medics.

Licensed medic Elisa Schreiber said she was marching when she saw the struck woman fly through the air.

"I saw the truck hit her. I saw her go up in the air. I saw her come down. I saw the truck speed off," Schreiber said. "I worked on her. She was conscious the whole time. She does have some injuries. I can't say exactly how minor or how serious. I just can say she was conscious, she was talking, when the AMR came to get her."

Schreiber said the woman had several broken bones. The legal observer was transported to Erie County Medical Center for treatment.

Protesters angled across Niagara Square, stopped the vehicle and argued with the driver.

"Guy tracked it down and we wound up getting her over there and things continued," said protester Brandan Bonner. "People deflated her tires until she eventually drove off."

Police said the car was stopped later and the incident is under investigation.

Witnesses said the driver appeared to aim into the crowd of protesters.

"He didn't stop. As a matter of fact, he picked up to hit her and and then he sped up even faster to leave," Schreiber said.

The actual hit occurred almost directly beneath a police surveillance camera with good lighting.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.
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