Turns out, there were "outside agitators" at Black Lives Matter protests — attacking the peaceful protesters!
Police arrested an out-of-towner for trying to mow down protesters at a small rally in Whitestone on Sunday — the second instance of men who are apparently opposed to the anti-racism movement using their cars as weapons in the same exact spot.
Kevin Miller, 62, of Pomona in Rockland County was charged only with unlicensed driving and disorderly conduct, even though a video shows him accelerating his gray Toyota sedan into a crowd of young people rallying against police brutality at Clintonville Street and the Cross Island Parkway at about 7 p.m.
Mayor de Blasio has repeatedly blamed any violence and looting during the anti-police-brutality protests on people who come from outside New York City to purposely wreak havoc. He was certainly right about Miller, given the police charges and the video that led to them.
“Some come from outside the city. Some are from inside the city,” de Blasio said last month. “Some are from the neighborhoods where the protests take place, some are not. But what we do know is there is an explicit agenda of violence and it does not conform with the history of this city in which we have always honored non-violent protests."
The full 1:31 video of Miller's alleged actions were originally posted to Facebook on Monday. It starts in the middle of Miller's alleged aggression, with protesters responding by jumping on the car and hurling what look like plastic water bottles at it, while cops nearby try to shove them away — in an apparent attempt to protect the 3,000-pounds of metal and Miller inside.
A commenter on the Facebook video said Miller instigated the violence by trying to run down peaceful protesters.
“First of all, he came up to my bf and I, driving and acting aggressively, other than trying to run us down and giving us the middle finger, he threw a large gulp cup of water at me and still tried to run people over on the side, after he drove around in order to come back and then that’s where the video started. We were peacefully protesting until this racist man tried to run people over and disrespected me,” according to the woman’s account.
Protesters can be heard in the video yelling at police to “put the car in park,” as the cops casually stop Miller from driving away while berating the young people for shouting “racist” and “dirty fuck.”
One cop shouts back at the young protesters, “Hey, stop!”
The violent attack came just six days after 54-year-old Frank Cavalluzzi, who had knives strapped to his arms, allegedly used his car as a weapon in order to try to mow people down on the sidewalk at the same intersection; two days later, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz charged Cavalluzzi with attempted murder.
And it comes three days after another white man allegedly attempted to shoot and used a car to chase two black men out of the Queens neighborhood of Jamaica. Katz charged that man, Yosef Aranbayev, with assault as a hate crime and attempted murder as a hate crime, according to the New York Post.
In a third Whitestone incident, at what looks like the same intersection of Cross Island Parkway at Clintonville Street, another white man also was caught on video last week ripping down “Black Lives Matter” signs and calling the neighborhood a “white town,” the Post reported.
Queens — among the most diverse counties in the nation — is nonetheless emerging as an epicenter of racist pushback to the Black Lives Matter protests, at least in its old-line white neighborhoods, the historic home of some of New York’s most infamous racist killings.
President Trump, a Queens native, defeated Hillary Clinton in Whitestone in 2016 with 52 percent of the vote, one of only five neighborhoods in his hometown borough that he won.
The response of police officers to the aggressive driver recorded in the latest video contrasts greatly with police treatment of protesters captured on video elsewhere in the city. The video of Monday’s Whitestone incident shows cops attempting to stop the driver gently and without much urgency — days earlier during a protest in Brooklyn, police tackled a cyclist to the ground and punched him repeatedly for slow-riding in front of an NYPD van.
The violent car attacks on protesters are reminiscent of the killing of 32-year-old Heather Heyer by neo-Nazi James Alex Fields, 21, who drove his car into a crowd of counter-demonstrators at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville in 2017, fatally striking Heyer — a pattern of violence that’s being played out all around the country amid protests.