Black Lives Matter activists call out Greenville Police Department following Tanner's protest

  • By cvbizz
  • June 15, 2020
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Activists with Black Lives Matter held a news conference at Greenville County Square on Monday, calling for the arrest of a person seen driving into a crowd of protesters outside Tanner’s Big Orange Restaurant. On June 8, around 100 protesters rallied peacefully outside the Greenville restaurant locating along Pleasantburg Drive. The protest, sparked after restaurant owner, John Zeller, made a racist post to his Facebook page. Zeller addressed his posts with WYFF News 4 that day, saying ““I’m definitely not racist. The one who is gonna judge me on that is the Lord on that day. I’ve said stupid things and made mistakes … This was one of them,” Zeller said.But the protest was interrupted when a person behind the wheel of an SUV drove into the crowd. Travis Greene and Courtney Henderson watched on as the chaos ensued. They say they saw the driver roll down the window and reach their hand out in an attempt to punch a person.“He let down his window and he hit a lady standing by the car,” Greene recalled. “(he) hit the gas driving towards people and as people were running out of the way for fear of getting run over. Some people were trying to get him to stop … he sped off into the parking lot just endangering everyone’s lives there being peaceful.”But one week later and charges have yet to be filed against the driver. Leaders with Black Lives Matter say they have met with Greenville Police and are calling for the driver to be charged with reckless endangerment. However, they say, their message appears to be falling on deaf ears. “(Police) were adamant about trying to convince us that nothing really happened,” Bruce Wilson, a leader with the Black Lives Matter movement, said. “They were adamant about it. To the point where I tried to relive this event … (and said to myself) ‘whoa did something really happen?’”Wilson says he expects Greenville Police to release video from the incident this week, but is not confident that the department will press any charges.“I hope they realize that we’re not gonna back down from this,” Wilson said. “(GPD) needs to do the right thing.”

Activists with Black Lives Matter held a news conference at Greenville County Square on Monday, calling for the arrest of a person seen driving into a crowd of protesters outside Tanner’s Big Orange Restaurant.

On June 8, around 100 protesters rallied peacefully outside the Greenville restaurant locating along Pleasantburg Drive. The protest, sparked after restaurant owner, John Zeller, made a racist post to his Facebook page. Zeller addressed his posts with WYFF News 4 that day, saying ““I’m definitely not racist. The one who is gonna judge me on that is the Lord on that day. I’ve said stupid things and made mistakes … This was one of them,” Zeller said.

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But the protest was interrupted when a person behind the wheel of an SUV drove into the crowd. Travis Greene and Courtney Henderson watched on as the chaos ensued. They say they saw the driver roll down the window and reach their hand out in an attempt to punch a person.

“He let down his window and he hit a lady standing by the car,” Greene recalled. “(he) hit the gas driving towards people and as people were running out of the way for fear of getting run over. Some people were trying to get him to stop … he sped off into the parking lot just endangering everyone’s lives there being peaceful.”

But one week later and charges have yet to be filed against the driver. Leaders with Black Lives Matter say they have met with Greenville Police and are calling for the driver to be charged with reckless endangerment. However, they say, their message appears to be falling on deaf ears.

“(Police) were adamant about trying to convince us that nothing really happened,” Bruce Wilson, a leader with the Black Lives Matter movement, said. “They were adamant about it. To the point where I tried to relive this event … (and said to myself) ‘whoa did something really happen?’”

Wilson says he expects Greenville Police to release video from the incident this week, but is not confident that the department will press any charges.

“I hope they realize that we’re not gonna back down from this,” Wilson said. “(GPD) needs to do the right thing.”

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