Driver cited after protester struck by vehicle in Midtown

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A driver received a citation after a protester was struck by a vehicle in Midtown on Friday.

Protesters have been marching in Memphis for more than a week following the death of George Floyd in Minnesota, and one group took to streets in Midtown on Friday.

The group met on Madison Avenue, marched down Cooper Street, to Young Avenue, and at one point they blocked all six lanes of East Parkway.

Police said a driver received a citation after attempting to drive through protesters in Midtown on Friday and hitting one person.

Around 8:30 p.m., the protest was brought a halt when a driver in a black SUV apparently tried to drive through protesters near Young Avenue and Blythe.

One protester was struck by the vehicle and was taken to the hospital in non-critical condition. The driver was detained by police at the scene and received a citation.

WREG’s Andrew Ellison reported another vehicle attempted to also drive through protesters shortly after the first incident. No one was injured in that incident, and the driver left the scene.

Shelby County Commissioner Tami Sawyer called for police to arrest that driver who left the scene. She said it’s unfair the drivers are free while peaceful protesters were arrested by MPD within the last week.

“It’s unacceptable, Director Rallings, you owe this city an answer; you owe these children an answer,” Sawyer said. “Mayor Strickland, you do too. Find those guys and lock them up the same way you lock us up. Black lives matter.”

Even after those incidents, protesters continued marching.

Throughout the night, they had a message and a chant of “Defund the police.” They said they want money taken from the Memphis police budget and reallocated to things like neighborhood care and education.

Protests erupted nationwide after the death of George Floyd in police custody. Most protests in Memphis have remained peaceful, though some violence has broken out nationwide.

Protesters are demanding local and federal governments address racial inequalities and injustices.

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