MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Protesters hit by a car in Cooper Young Friday night told FOX13 officers on the scene did not do enough to protect them.
Police charged one driver with four counts of reckless endangerment and one count of reckless driving.
The protesters said they believe Anthony Marcuzzo hit them on purpose because they were protesting, but according to the affidavit, the protesters blocked Marcuzzo as he tried to drive through the area.
“Our eyes locked through that windshield, and he grinned and laughed and put on the gas,” Shiloh Goodman said.
Goodman described the moment a car hit her and three other protesters in Cooper Young Friday night.
It happened at Young Avenue near Blythe Street. Goodman said the driver hit everyone on purpose.
“Tony Marcuzzo was laughing. I was mortified when he so clearly wanted to hurt people when we asked him to turn around,” she said.
Another protester, Erin Dempsey, said she was taken to the hospital after the car dragged her for several feet.
According to an affidavit, officers say protesters blocked Marcuzzo when he was driving.
In the affidavit it says Marcuzzo slowly drove up to the protesters and pushed through four of them.
“In no way was this driver scared or acting in self-defense, as we’ve heard some people say,” said Dempsey.
Dempsey is doing ok, but told FOX13 what happened to her is unacceptable…
“If the driver was a black man he would’ve been pulled out of the car. If I was a black woman I would’ve seen even less justice,” she said.
“On Friday the privilege of being white was being shown so clearly,” said Shelby County Commissioner Tami Sawyer.
The second man involved in the Cooper Young protest incident Friday night now has a warrant out for his arrest.
Memphis Police said Beau Albauer drove through a crowd of protesters near Cooper and Central.
No one was hurt.
“I can't help wonder what if Beau Albauer or Tony Marcuzzo was black. How easy would it been then to hunt them down?” Sawyer asked.
Police cited Albauer Friday for disregarding a red light, but now there is a warrant for his arrest.
It's for reckless driving and reckless endangerment.
Protesters claim Albauer made a post on social media bragging about hitting protesters.
FOX13 isn't sharing the post because we haven’t been able to independently verify it.
Protest organizer Jordan Dodson told FOX13 police would've handled both cases different if Albauer and Marcuzzo were black.
“Would you corner him on all sides guns pointed on their faces, at their chest, at their hands in the air after they admitted to the attempted murder on their social media post? And if they were black would they get off with the lowest charge and absolute lowest bail?” Dodson asked.
FOX13 reached out to Albauer. Through Facebook he said that this is all blown out of proportion.
© 2020 © 2020 Cox Media Group