• Two Black Lives Matter protesters were hit by a car leaving a protest in Bloomington, Indiana, on Monday
  • One protester was uninjured while the second was hospitalized with a concussion because of the incident
  • Monday's protest was in response to the alleged attempted lynching of a local Black man on the Fourth of July, with protesters calling for the arrests of the people involved

At least two protesters were recovering Tuesday after a car drove through peaceful protests held Monday in Bloomington, Indiana. The protests were demanding the arrests of several white people for the alleged attempted lynching of a local Black resident on Saturday.

The protest was held outside the Bloomington courthouse for most of Monday in response to the alleged attack of 36-year-old Vauhxx Booker in Lake Monroe, Indiana. Around 9 p.m., a red Toyota Corolla was seen speeding through the street towards the protesters when it stopped to avoid hitting a scooter in the road. After a male passenger moved the scooter, the car took off and struck a female protester, carrying her on the hood of the car for nearly a block. A male protester who attempted to help the woman was also carried by the car for a short distance before falling off.

Short videos of the incident were posted on Twitter.

Bloomington police said neither the driver nor passenger have been identified and officers were trying to locate the vehicle. The two protesters were identified as Geoff Stewart and Chaz Mottinger. Stewart was uninjured in the incident, but Mottinger was unconscious and rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment.

A friend of Mottinger, identified as Rachel Glago, set up a GoFundMe page to help cover medical expenses and said Mottinger suffered a concussion from the incident. The page raised over $14,000 on a goal of $10,000 in just over 13 hours.

“Any additional funds will be donated to BLM Bloomington and other organizations with Black leadership fighting and advocating to dismantle white supremacy, as per the wishes of the protestor,” Glago said in a page update. “The work isn’t over. Please continue to show up and take action.”

Local activist Caleb Poer said this sort of incident was expected, but it won’t deter them in any way.

“All our rallies, all of our marches have been peaceful and these racists keep coming in,” Poer said. “This will just light an even bigger fire.”

Monday’s chaotic scene was sparked by the altercation Saturday at Lake Monroe, which is about 10 miles south of Bloomington. Booker said on Facebook that he was heading to the lake for a lunar eclipse viewing with a friend when he was confronted by a “large white male” wearing a Confederate flag hat who said the two were on private property. Booker said he and his friend were polite, apologized, and made their way to the viewing event.

When they informed the event organizer about the altercation, he told them the man was not the property owner and they had received permission to hold the viewing.

Booker said he and his friend were confronted by the man and a larger group of white people while walking along the lake’s beach. As the two tried to avoid the group and any potential conflict, several people from the group began following Booker and his friend while yelling racial slurs. Booker said at least five men assaulted him, yelling “white power” and other racial slurs as they pinned his neck to a tree and threatened to break his arm.

Several witnesses rushed over when they heard the yelling and tried to pull the men off Booker. The men had threatened to “get a noose,” while other witnesses recorded the assault. Booker said the witnesses were able to get him free, but the group who assaulted him continued following and yelling at him.

Officers from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources responded to calls about the assault, but Booker said no arrests were made. Booker said the officers told him they contacted the local prosecutor’s office, who said no arrests were necessary.

Booker was taken to a local hospital and treated for multiple bruises, abrasions, and a “mild concussion.”

“My enduring gratitude to those who stopped merely being bystanders and acted to aid me, who told the police what they’d seen and heard, and who shared my outrage at DNR’s and our Prosecutor’s office inaction,” Booker wrote in a Facebook post recounting the altercation.

The Black Lives Matter protest movement has resonated particularly strongly with many in Australia
The Black Lives Matter protest movement has resonated particularly strongly with many in Australia AFP / Trevor Collens