Lawrence police say investigations are ongoing into vehicle incidents at protests, graphic banner

photo by: Mackenzie Clark

A silver SUV approaches protesters and makeshift barricades at North Park and Massachusetts streets on June 29, 2020.

Investigations are ongoing into some incidents of vehicles driving through crowds at protests and of a banner found Saturday near South Park, according to Lawrence police.

In a statement to media on Monday, the Lawrence Police Department said officers were investigating two incidents of vehicles driving into crowds of protesters Monday afternoon.

Department spokesman Patrick Compton said via email Tuesday afternoon that no citations had been issued in connection with either incident “as of yet.”

Some posts on an online message board — now deleted — purported to be from the driver of a silver SUV that drove through the crowd on Massachusetts Street around 1:45 p.m. Monday. The Journal-World could not confirm the authorship of the posts, which claimed responsibility.

“We are aware of the posts, and are currently investigating this incident,” Compton said. “The investigation is ongoing, and we cannot comment any further.”

Compton also said the department did not have updates on any investigation of vehicles driving into crowds at the May 31 march against police brutality. As the Journal-World has reported, at least two vehicles drove into large groups of people who were protesting on Massachusetts Street.

In addition, the Journal-World asked Compton to clarify whether a graphic banner and letter denouncing the Black Lives Matter movement that were found on a tree near South Park on Saturday had been hung with permission.

“LPD had no knowledge of the banner prior to it being displayed,” Compton wrote. “An individual claiming to be the artist contacted LPD after the fact. We are investigating this incident and cannot comment any further.”

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Related coverage

June 30, 2020: City of Lawrence will keep section of Massachusetts Street occupied by protesters closed ‘at least’ through Wednesday

June 29, 2020: Vehicles drive through crowd, 6 demonstrators arrested as protest continues on Massachusetts Street; police barricade road

June 28, 2020: Part of Massachusetts Street closed as protesters set up tents, demand investigation into ‘heinous and racist’ banner

June 27, 2020: Protesters gather in Lawrence after graphic, racist banner is found with letter denouncing Black Lives Matter movement

June 5, 2020: Witnesses hesitant to come forward about people driving through crowds at Lawrence march; police investigating

June 1, 2020: Overall, organizer pleased with Lawrence march against police brutality; incident involving vehicle in crowd under investigation

June 1, 2020: Protesters rally in Lawrence for largely peaceful march against police brutality

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