Oregon Mayor Accused Of Driving Car Into Black Lives Matter Protesters
The driver of a vehicle that drove through a group of Black Lives Matter protesters in Medford, Oregon, earlier this month allegedly was the mayor of a neighboring town, according to The Washington Post.
- Video of the incident shows the driver of a bright yellow car blare his horn and drive steadily into a group of protesters, hitting a woman who stopped to hold up her sign with the left bumper and mirror.
Medford BLM Protest (Phoenix mayor incident @ 05:49): Medford, OR | June 1st, 2020
Incident with Phoenix mayor at 05:49. This is footage from the BLM protest in Medford back on Saturday, June 1st, when the movement was very young. I joined ...
The woman, Mikala Johnston, claims the driver of the car was the mayor of Phoenix, Oregon, Chris Luz, whom she confronted about the incident during a commission meeting he chaired on Monday.
Johnston said during the meeting: “The city of Phoenix cannot ignore that the mayor is in fact a criminal. There is absolutely no excuse for the actions that you took that day, Chris. Chris, you assaulted me.”
According to The Post, Luz did not respond to an email message, nor did he address Johnston’s complaint at the meeting.
Sgt. Jason Antley told The Post on Thursday that Medford police have opened a criminal investigation into the matter.
During the march, held on June 1, “the crowd was peaceful and police helped to keep demonstrators safe as they blocked traffic,” according to Johnston.
“We were not causing any harm. Any logical driver would have thought to wait for those couple hundred marchers to walk on by,” she said. “However, Chris decided to take a different approach.”
Johnston said she saw a yellow car “accelerating toward us at a less than comfortable speed” when the protesters turned onto a main street.
“He then proceeds to drive his car right past me, hitting me with the front left of his vehicle and again with the side view mirror,” she said, which is supported by video of the incident.
Johnston added: “I couldn’t believe this man would avoid slightly turning his wheel to not hit me. He then proceeded to try to drive through a crowd of peaceful protesters.”
The Post reported that video “shows that after angry protesters surround the car, the driver gets out and pleads to be let through, cursing at a protester he said dented his hood before insisting, ‘I’m on your side, dude.’”
“A man like Chris does not deserve to hold a spot of power,” she said. “If he can lose his temper that easily and react in an immature, impulsive, outrageous and hypocritical manner, imagine the harm he can bring the city of Phoenix.”
“I can’t believe the actions that you took, nudging teenagers with your car, intimidating, and threatening them for expressing their opinions,” Sarah Westover said. “I think this is unacceptable behavior, and I want to call on the mayor to resign tonight.”