A driver hit a pedestrian before speeding away after a rally in Bloomington, Indiana held Monday night to demand justice for Black civil rights activist Vauhxx Booker, who says he was the victim of an attempted lynching by a group of white men.
Dozens were gathered in front of the county courthouse to protest the police's decision not to arrest the group of white men who Booker says pinned him to a tree and threatened to lynch him in a wooded area near Lake Monroe on July Fourth — an encounter that was partially recorded and prompted widespread outrage on social media.
On Monday, as the protest began to disperse, a red Toyota Corolla stopped about a block from the courthouse and a male passenger emerged to clear a scooter from its path, the Herald-Times reported. A 29-year-old woman then stood in front of the vehicle with her hands on the hood of the car, Bloomington Police Department Capt. Ryan Pedigo said in a statement.
The driver then swiftly accelerated, pushing the woman on the hood of the car as a man clung to the driver's side door, the Herald-Times reported, citing Pedigo. The woman on the hood sustained injuries and was taken to the hospital. Police were still searching for the driver Tuesday afternoon.
Booker spoke to Inside Edition about the harrowing ordeal that sparked Monday's protest. In video taken of the incident, you can see the lower half of his body pushed up against the tree by men who accused him of trespassing on private property as he headed to the lake with friends to celebrate the holiday. When he was able to get free, one attacker can be heard hurling racist slurs.
“They managed to drag me to a tree, pin me down and violently punch and kick and pull my hair,” Booker told Inside Edition. “I hear one of the gentlemen tell his friend to get a noose...This is a lynching straight out of the Antebellum South.”
Booker called 911 but said when authorities showed up, they didn't arrest his attackers.