Oregon protester, hit by vehicle, is cited by police

Reuters News
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Posted: Dec 15, 2014 5:52 PM

By Courtney Sherwood

PORTLAND, Ore. (Reuters) - A 19-year-old Oregon man who was struck by a vehicle last week after joining a crowd of demonstrators to block traffic in protest against the killings of black men by police has been ticketed for his actions, Portland police said on Monday.

The driver of an Audi sports utility vehicle struck the protester on Saturday while he was trying to navigate a downtown Portland street filled with people chanting "Black Lives Matter," according to a police report.

"He was too afraid to stop as the protesters surrounded his car and he was concerned for his safety and the safety of his family," Portland Police Department Sergeant Pete Simpson said, adding that the driver left the scene and later called police to report his involvement.

The protests in Portland were part of broader national demonstrations over the killings of black males by police officers in Missouri, New York, Cleveland and elsewhere that have put police treatment of minorities squarely in the national spotlight.

The protester hurt in the Oregon demonstration, Julian Rist, was briefly hospitalized for a foot and ankle injury. Police issued him a ticket for "improper position on a highway" and said he was one of about 30 people who left city sidewalks to block traffic during the protest.

Simpson said the driver, 37-year-old Thomas Munsey, was not cited and was unaware of any plans to issue him a ticket.

(Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Eric Walsh)