DENVER (KDVR) — A Change.org petition demanding the arrest of a driver who struck a pedestrian protester last week has gathered thousands of signatures.
“I am not really surprised on how quickly the signatures have been coming in because the video speaks for itself, and I think people are truly horrified,” Lauren Rose, the woman who started the petition, said.
Rose, who lives in Colorado Springs, has been active in many past racial justice protests but was not present during the Denver protests last week.
When she saw the footage of a pedestrian, Max Bailey, being struck by a vehicle, she said she wanted to do something to bring attention to the incident, so she launched the petition.
“When I saw her U-turn into him, I physically gasped out loud,” she said, explaining what happened the first time she watched the video.
Rose said the footage reminded her of the vehicle that plowed into a group of protesters in Virginia a few years ago, killing Heather Heyer.
“I feel if someone does something like this and there is no repercussions for their actions, I think it sets an extremely dangerous precedent for other people across the country to mimic those actions, especially if they think they can get away with them.”
The Denver Police Department identified the woman and said detectives were conducting interviews with the parties involved. However, they have not yet arrested the driver.
The FOX31 Problem Solvers tried to reach the driver, but we have not yet made contact with her, and she has not yet responded to our messages.
Some Twitter users offered support to her by writing things like “I’m glad the car kept driving.” Another suggested the man who was struck, Max Bailey, should face consequences for jumping on the hood of her car.
“She ran me over. Like, you need to stop in that moment. You can’t hit-and-run somebody,” Bailey told the FOX31 Problem Solvers last week.
Bailey said he jumped on her car to avoid being run over. He said the protest in the street was designed to make people – including drivers – stop and think about George Floyd, the man who died after a Minnesota police officer pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck.
“You can’t really disrespect the people you’ve lost in those moments by moving, that’s the opposite of the reason we’re there,” he said. “We’re there to put our life on the line, because that man gave his life for being himself.”
Rose said she is not certain if she would have launched a Change.org petition if the driver had not turned her vehicle and struck Bailey.
“If she did not deliberately U-turn right back into him, I don’t think I would have started the petition. I can’t say for sure…to me, that is what made it so much more clear that this was deliberate violence,” she said.