No charges after truck drives through group of protesters blocking traffic in Ventura: DA

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Warning: The video contains graphic language.

Charges will not be filed against a driver who was filmed driving through a group of Black Lives Matter demonstrators as they blocked lanes of traffic in Ventura earlier this month, prosecutors said Thursday.

The incident took place as protesters gathered at the intersection of Victoria Avenue and Telephone Road on June 7, according to a Ventura County District Attorney’s Office news release.

During the protest, a number of people went in the street, blocking two lanes of traffic and obstructing some vehicles, prosecutors said.

“Traffic continued to proceed through the intersection, and ultimately a low speed collision occurred between a white pick-up truck and two protestors standing in the roadway on northbound Victoria Avenue,” the release stated.

The motorist drove away from the scene but contacted police and alerted them to the incident soon after, authorities said.

Witnesses captured the events that transpired before, during and after the collision on video, and authorities used that, along with footage from traffic cameras in the area, in deciding there wasn’t enough evidence to charge the driver, according to the DA’s office.

Prosecutors said the motorist was acting in self-defense, noting that he had proceeded “slowly and reasonably” while the protesters were violating the California Vehicle Code.

Video of the incident showed the motorist slowing down as he encountered a group of demonstrators who were gathered in street and tried to motion them away with his hand.

In turn, they surrounded the pickup, which was moving slowly but did not stop as two people were in front of the vehicle, and began hitting it, according to the footage.

“As protesters pounded on his vehicle, the motorist and his passenger, who was pregnant, believed that the passenger compartment would be breached and they would be physically harmed. At that point, the motorist acted in reasonable fear for his and his passengers’ physical safety and proceeded forward,” the release stated.

One of the demonstrators who was in physical contact with the front of the vehicle was pushed down to the ground as a result, according to prosecutors, citing the footage. He could be seen getting up and, along with several others, attempting to run after the truck as it sped off.

A second protestor’s foot was hit while she tried to move out of the way.

One suffered a broken ankle while the other was uninjured, according to authorities.

“Based on these facts, there is insufficient evidence to establish that the collision was the result of an intentional assault,” prosecutors said.

The incident happened amid a Black Lives Matter demonstration that began at the nearby Ventura County Government Center and drew about 1,500 people, the Ventura County Star reported.

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