NC woman arrested for allegedly hitting people with vehicle at protest over Brown shooting

NC woman arrested for allegedly hitting people with vehicle at protest over Brown shooting
© Elizabeth City Police Department

A North Carolina woman was arrested Monday and could face hate crime charges after police said she struck two protesters with a vehicle at a demonstration.

The driver, identified by police in Elizabeth City, N.C., as Lisa Michelle O’Quinn, was charged with two felony counts of assault with a deadly weapon with the intent to kill, along with other charges, after allegedly hitting two people with a vehicle at 6:45 p.m. Monday. 

Police said in a statement Tuesday that the victims, identified as Michelle Fleming Morris and Valerie Lindsey, were “peacefully protesting and exercising their constitutional rights.” 

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The women, both 42 years old, were attending a demonstration targeting the fatal police shooting of Andrew Brown Jr. in Elizabeth City last month. 

Both women were taken to an area hospital, where they were “treated and released for non-life threatening injuries,” according to the Tuesday statement.

Police noted that an investigation into the incident is ongoing, and they will “be presenting facts and findings in this case to include potential aggravating factors for criminal enhancements for potential sentencing purposes of a hate crime.” 

O’Quinn was taken to the Albemarle District Jail with a $40,000 bond, according to police. She is set to appear in court for the charges Thursday. 

The news comes after District Attorney Andrew Womble announced last week that he would not press charges against the police officers who shot and killed Brown, saying that they were “justified.”

“After reviewing the investigation conducted by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, Mr. Brown's death while tragic, was justified because Mr. Brown's actions caused three deputies with the Pasquotank County Sheriff's Office to reasonably believe it was necessary to use deadly force to protect themselves and others,” Womble said at a press conference. 

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Body camera footage from the shooting shows deputies surrounding Brown’s vehicle, guns drawn, and shouting for Brown to get out of the car. 

Brown was shown reversing the car, making contact with a deputy, before moving forward and making contact again before driving across a lot. Several deputies shot at the vehicle, with one of the bullets striking Brown in the back of the head and killing him. 

Womble said last week that authorities believed that Brown was attempting to use his car as a deadly weapon. 

However, family members and attorneys for Brown, after viewing an initial 20-second clip of the deadly incident, called his death an “execution.”