A social justice battle, or just a DUI at the wrong time and place? One woman has died and three injured after a car plowed into protesters blocking the road in a demonstration over the shooting death of Winston Boogie Smith. The Star Tribune suggests that this was deliberate, part of a “battle” underway in the Twin Cities:
Police said the suspect was pulled from his car by protesters after the 11:39 p.m. crash and is now in custody and being treated for injuries at a hospital. Police did not say how the man was hurt or give the extent of his injuries. The man’s motive was not immediately known.
There had been ongoing protests in Uptown after the shooting June 3 of Winston Boogie Smith Jr., a 32-year-old father of three.
A social justice battle is being waged particularly in an Uptown Minneapolis alley, again and again and again.
Affiliates for NBC and Fox report, however, that police suspect that drugs or alcohol might be to blame for what could just be an accident:
Police took the suspect into custody at the scene. They are being treated at a nearby hospital.
The motive for the incident is still under investigation, but police said drugs and alcohol may have played a factor.
That wouldn’t fit the narrative very well. However, it does point out the danger in allowing protesters to block streets and freeways, especially at night. Cars might not see people in the way until it’s too late, which is why laws against jaywalking exist in the first place. Impaired and/or distracted drivers are already a menace to people with a ton or two of metal wrapped around them, and more so to those standing on the road in the dark.
The crowd certainly assumed it was deliberate, as Andy Ngo reported:
A major crash happened in Minneapolis involving a car and street protesters. One protester reportedly died. The driver was pulled out and assaulted by the crowd before being taken into police custody. pic.twitter.com/GbyoPGZEQL
Regardless of the specifics of this incident, it’s clear that a battle is being waged in the Twin Cities — and that some non-combatants have had enough. Juut Salon Spa has become the latest business to look for a calmer environment:
Meanwhile, as residents of the area hope for peace, a high-profile business announced Sunday that it’s pulling out of Uptown after 35 years, citing concerns about crime and social unrest. Juut Salon Spa, a fixture at the corner of Hennepin Avenue and Lake Street, posted the news on its Facebook page.
“It has become more and more evident that Uptown continues to struggle with store closings, social unrest, crime and street closures,” it read. “We would be heartbroken if anything were to happen to our team members or clients. With that at the forefront, we made this difficult decision.”
Minneapolis’ reluctance to assert its authority to keep peace and order continues to produce predictable results. Businesses burned out in the riots may want to return, but the ongoing cycle of violence and disorder are making it all but impossible to do so. Juut can’t be the only company worried about the safety of its employees, let alone the security of its facility.
The protesters can be heard shouting “No justice, no peace” in Ngo’s video. “No peace” will eventually mean “no commerce,” which will mean “no jobs,” and which eventually will mean widespread poverty and all of the ills that will bring. Disorder and retreat will demonstrate precisely why we have local government to enforce the rule of law, but those lessons will come too late for those stuck in Minneapolis at the moment. It suuuuure isn’t lost on those looking for the exits.