Truck drives into Tampa activist at Black Lives Matter protest

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Over the weekend several Juneteenth marches and celebrations continued across the Tampa Bay area. On Sunday one march landed in front of Meat Market in Hyde Park Village, which was hosting brunch despite an employee recently testing positive for COVID-19. Former Hillsborough County Commission candidate and military veteran Jae Passmore was struck by a car during the demonstration in Hyde Park Village after 20 Black Lives Matter protesters had blocked traffic during their march.

[singing] “What side are you on, my people? What side are you on? We’re on the freedom side.”

(minute 3:21)

Shoppers passing by watched as activist Jae Passmore sang and led the chants with her megaphone.

“A mild inconvenience is far better than a life lost.”

They came out in support of a petition that she created called #dumpdugan, which makes one demand:

“That Mayor Jane Castor fires police Chief Brian Dugan for his blatant lies on use of force on peaceful protesters.”

So far Jae has gathered more than 700 signatures online.

“On that petition, there are a collage of pictures that protesters offered up to us to display their injuries. Their head wounds, their back wounds, their leg wounds, all showing that they were shot from behind.

Some Hyde Park workers like Emerson stepped outside in support of the march.

“Nothing can happen until Black Lives are most importantly focused on. Unarmed people are being killed every single day”

Resident Chad McLaughlin was watching the demonstration from outside his home when the protesters brought traffic to a halt.

“And then they’re right here in the intersection of Swann and Rome, and they’re blocking the whole thing. The car starts honking and then this red truck just peels off and comes right through them.”

One activist named Z said that the inconvenience was meant to send a message.

“We’re here because everybody wants to go home. We want to make sure black and brown and First Nation children can get home- that black mothers like Jae can get home to their kids, that black fathers can get home to their kids on Father’s Day. And then he just straight up was like ‘I’m gonna run you over,’ and then did it.”

Claudia Baez filmed the driver as his truck hit Jae’s leg.

“It’s not just about police, but it is about the mindset- that mindset that allowed him to get into a car and drive into a human being is the kind of mindset that is in the police department, that is in the courtroom, that is in charge of giving people jobs, and firing people, and sending them to jail, and picking and choosing their sentences. This is the mindset that we’re fighting against- the mindset that doesn’t care, that will run you over in the street. This is why we say ‘Black Lives Matter,’ and this is why we’re not going to stop.”

Jae was rushed to a hospital to be treated for her injuries. Witnesses filed a police report to try to identify the driver who had fled the scene. Protesters continued to block traffic as they marched down Swann ave. At least two other drivers threatened to run over anyone who would not clear the road.

More videos from the rally: