Driver Who Ran Down Black Lives Matter Protesters Skips Court Appearance Yet Judge Fails to Act

Cops say Victor Kent was driving this black SUV when he targeted human beings in a Black Lives Matter protest.
Cops say Victor Kent was driving this black SUV when he targeted human beings in a Black Lives Matter protest.

The “violent terrorist” who allegedly used his car to ram and injure peaceful Black Lives Matter protesters in the Flatiron district last year — then was released on his recognizance by police despite a felony charge — didn’t show up for his court appearance on Dec. 30, but the judge in the case denied a prosecution demand that he be arrested, enraging activists and witnesses.

How Streetsblog covered the justice ride attack.
How Streetsblog covered the justice ride attack.

According to the office of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., Victor Kent, 18, failed to appear as required by the desk appearance ticket he received after he used his Infiniti to drive through a group protesters, some on bicycles, on Fifth Avenue near 25th Street on Oct. 3. At least two people were injured, though scores were at risk by Kent’s actions, according to authorities.

He initially fled, but was caught three days later and charged with one felony count of assault with intent to cause physical injury (with a weapon, presumably the car). Cops freed him with the desk appearance ticket despite the fact that Kent had been arrested one month earlier on a robbery charge.

At the time, organizers of the protest march were incensed that Kent was released.

“It’s unbelievable,” Street Riders NYC co-founder Peter Kerre told Gothamist at the time. “That is outrageous. What if he’s a potential threat? What if he might go looking for the victims? That’s a concern now, for me.”

Street Riders NYC was equally incensed after learning that Judge Nicholas Moyne had failed to issue a warrant for Kent’s arrest after he failed to show on Dec. 30 (Moyne could not be reached by Streetsblog). The group issued a statement on Instagram:

Victor Kent of Forest Hills used his black Infiniti SUV as a weapon, plowed through our Justice Ride XV protest and fled the scene, sending two of our riders to hospital and traumatizing tons more. … He apparently will be given a grace period of almost two months to present self with no consequences.

When you see us expressing frustration at the DATs being given to such violent terrorists (and ironically a now-template charge for BLM protest assaulters), this is exactly the reason why. They are let loose, free to roam the streets and repeat the crime. It is not about locking someone away but applying justice equally, because people of color are never afforded similar treatment by the system, even when innocent.

Somehow, the stick always softens when the offender’s skin tone is white.

Kent’s next court appearance in the case is on Feb. 26. Kent does not have a lawyer, according to court documents, and could not be reached for comment.

The video of the attack still horrifies (trigger warning):



The Right to Peaceful Assembly vs. the “Right” to Convenient Motoring

Demonstrations against police brutality spilled onto streets and highways in American cities this weekend, with protesters stopping traffic in Baton Rouge, Memphis, St. Paul, Los Angeles, and Oakland. NPR reports 102 people were arrested in St. Paul and another 120 in Baton Rouge, including prominent Black Lives Matter organizer DeRay Mckesson, who was arrested while walking along […]