A disturbing video of a man aiming a bow and arrow at demonstrators has emerged, as Black Lives Matter protests spread across the world demanding justice over the killing of George Floyd this weekend.
The footage, viewed by more than 9 million on Twitter, shows an angry driver, later named as Brandon McCormick, getting out of his car yelling ‘all lives matter’ before producing a bow and arrow in the middle of protests in Salt Lake City, Utah.
A woman is heard shouting ‘look at this, call yourself an American?’ as he assembles the weapon and retorts: ‘Yes I’m an American, all lives matter!’
McCormick is then seen turning away from the camera and aiming the bow and arrow at protesters, before the woman screams: ‘Don’t you dare’.
A person is then seen on the ground in front of him – but it is not clear whether they were shot – before the crowd screams, drivers beep their horns and protesters quickly jump on him.
A Twitter user who shared the video said: ‘He got out of his car, yelled “that’s it”, and shot into the crowd before being tackled.
‘He was yelling and me [sic], and then aimed his bow at a black man standing behind me. The black man saw it coming, charged, and tackled him.’
McCormick, who later identified himself on a television news interview, also had a large knife in his possession and was taken into police custody, KSL.com reported.
A second video of the incident, shot from a different angle, shows protesters crouching behind cars to avoid being shot as McCormick turns aiming the hunting weapon in different directions. A group quickly runs towards him, tackles and pummels him. The car was then flipped over, claimed social media users, who named McCormick after Marvel character ‘Hawkeye’ whose weapon of choice is a bow and arrow.
It is not clear whether he fired at anyone but protesters swarmed him before much damage could be done
McCormick later claimed to reporters that protesters set on him first after he shouted at them from inside his car, reported the New York Post.
‘First I got beat up when I yelled, “All Lives Matter,” then I pulled out weapons, then I got beat up some more, then cops grabbed me and my car got totaled,’ said McCormick, who had a bloody face and a cut above his eye.
The incident comes as Donald Trump supporters ran over two protesters in Visalia, California, on Saturday. Shocking footage showed a blue Jeep with a ‘Keep America Great’ flag attached to the rear, ploughing into a young woman holding a placard in the road.
The demonstrations began in Minneapolis after Mr Floyd died on Monday, after a police officer restrained him on the floor, holding a knee to his neck until he stopped breathing.
The unarmed black security guard was filmed repeatedly saying ‘I can’t breathe’ as former Minneapolis Police Department officer Derek Chauvin continued to restrain him on the floor. He died soon afterwards and Chauvin was fired and charged with third-degree murder.
Demonstrations have since spread to other US cities including New York, Detroit, Los Angeles, Dallas, Austin and Portland, as protesters call for change after years of black people being killed or beaten at the hands of police officers.
Another video showed two New York Police Department vehicles driving into protesters who were pushing a barricade against a police car and pelting it with objects, knocking several to the ground.
‘Our country has a sickness. We have to be out here,’ said protester Brianna Petrisko, who was among those at lower Manhattan’s Foley Square, where most were wearing masks amid the coronavirus pandemic.
‘This is the only way we’re going to be heard.’ Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, who said local forces had been overwhelmed on Friday, fully mobilised the state’s National Guard, with more than 4,000 officers responding to protests in Minneapolis and would quickly have nearly 11,000.
Soon after Minneapolis’ 8pm curfew came into force, lines of police cars and officers in riot gear moved in to confront protesters, firing tear gas to push away throngs of people.
The tougher tactics came after city and state leaders were criticised for not effectively containing days of violent protests.
President Donald Trump appeared to cheer on the tougher tactics being used by law enforcement on Saturday night.
He commended the Guard deployment in Minneapolis, declaring ‘No games!’ and also said police in New York City ‘must be allowed to do their job!’
Earlier, Mr Trump issued tweets taunting protesters and praising the Secret Service, who used shields and pepper spray to push back people gathered outside the White House to protest Mr Floyd’s death and the president’s response. Mr Trump tweeted he had watched from inside as officers ‘let the ‘protesters’ scream & rant as much as they wanted, but whenever someone …. got too frisky or out of line, they would quickly come down on them, hard – didn’t know what hit them’.
Overnight curfews were imposed in more than a dozen major cities nationwide, ranging from 6pm in parts of South Carolina to 10pm around Ohio.