Suspect charged after man struck by SUV at Tennessee Black Lives Matter rally
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Police charged a suspect on Monday with aggravated assault after a man was struck by an SUV at a Black Lives Matter rally over the weekend in Johnson City, Tenn.

The Johnson City Police Department arrested Jared Benjamin Lafer of Bakersville, N.C., after he turned himself in on Monday, according to a release. Lafer was released on a $20,000 bond and is scheduled to be arraigned on Tuesday.

Cellphone footage posted to Facebook by one of the organizers of Saturday's protest shows a white Ford Expedition driving up to at least two protesters standing in the road before accelerating. The vehicle appears to run over a man and crush a bicycle before driving away. 


A 31-year-old Johnson City man was taken to Johnson City Medical Center for treatment, and a 26-year-old Johnson City woman was also hit but did not sustain injuries that needed treatment, the Johnson City Press reported

The male victim said a group of protesters was crossing State of Franklin Road when some drivers honked their horns and one driver “flicked-off” the demonstrators, according to court documents obtained by the newspaper. He said the driver of the white SUV honked, moved forward at about two miles per hour and bumped him before accelerating and running over his legs.

Police responded to the report of a pedestrian being struck by a vehicle at 7:20 p.m. Officers collected videos from witnesses, traffic cameras and businesses before announcing Sunday that the department had identified the person of interest and the vehicle, according to a release

After attempting to find Lafer at his residence, a North Carolina attorney called the department and said Lafer was in the process of hiring a Tennessee lawyer and planned to turn himself in on Monday, according to court documents obtained by the Johnson City Press.

Black Lives Matter protests against police brutality have been held across the country following the May death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody.