Car runs down protesters of alleged attempted lynching in Indiana, drives off with woman on hood


Police in Indiana are seeking a hit-and-run driver who slammed into a woman who was among those protesting an alleged attempted lynching, and drove off with her on the hood.

At least two protesters were struck, reported WRTV-TV out of Indianapolis.

The protesters were calling for arrests after an apparent attempted lynching at a lake in Bloomington in which several people hurling racial slurs pinned a black man down. Witnesses got them separated, but according to a Facebook post, no one was arrested.

In a detailed, harrowing Facebook post, Vauhxx Booker, a prominent voice for civil rights in Bloomington who serves on the Monroe County Human Rights Commission, recounted the terrifying ordeal that took place on the Fourth of July.

“I don’t want to recount this, but I was almost the victim of an attempted lynching,” he began. “I don’t want this to have happened to me or anyone. It hurts my soul, and my pride, but there are multiple witnesses and it can’t be hidden or avoided.”

'I was attacked by five white men...'

As he and a friend cut through some woods to a public area around Monroe Lake to see the lunar eclipse, they were stopped by a large, “seemingly drunk” man in a Confederate hat, he said, adding that he could only describe the July 4 attack as a hate crime.

“I was attacked by five white men (with confederate flags) who literally threatened to lynch me in front of numerous witnesses,” Booker wrote.

It was a group hanging out in the woods, blocking access to the public beach, and claiming to own the land, he said. When he and his friends tried to leave after talking to them, five large men jumped him, piling on, pinning his arms behind his back and threatening to break them.

They dragged him and pinned his body against a tree, he said, ripping out some hair and at one point jumping on his neck.

“At one point during the attack one of the men jumped on my neck,” he wrote. “I could feel both his feet and his full body weight land hard against my neck.”

Authorities arrived and declined to press charges

That’s when people started filming, videos that Booker also posted and The Bloomingtonian combined into a single YouTube video – clips disturbing enough that Booker cautioned his friends and family they “may not want to watch.”

After authorities arrived and declined to press charges – despite the videos and firsthand accounts by numerous witnesses, including those who had separated Booker from his attackers – he was at a loss.

“I lack the ability to adequately express my thoughts regarding this moment,” Booker wrote. “How many Black people had the same surreal and terrifying experience of strangers talking about their own murders in front of them, who then didn’t live to see another day.”

On Monday, hundreds of people gathered outside the Monroe County Courthouse in Bloomington to demand arrests.

Authorities said an investigation is under way.

“The Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Law Enforcement Division is working diligently with the Monroe County Prosecutor’s Office to ensure a lawful resolution,” the DNR told the Indianapolis Star. “This matter remains under investigation, and no further information will be released at this time.”

Originally published