Protester Hit By Car That Killed Friend At March Is Being Sent Death Threats
A Black Lives Matter protester who was injured and lost their friend when a car slammed into them is now being sent death threats.
Diaz Love, who reportedly uses nonbinary pronouns, was taking part in a Black Femme March on a closed interstate in Seattle on July 5 when Dawit Kelete sped towards them in his car.
Kelete struck Diaz and their friend, Summer Taylor, causing them both to go flying into the air. Summer, who was just 24, died as a result of the incident, and Diaz was taken to hospital in serious condition.
Diaz took to social media to share an update on their condition after the incident, telling their followers they are ‘alive and stable’, though ‘in a lot of pain’.
Diaz described the horrific event as a ‘murder’, and stressed it would not prevent them from standing up for the Black Lives Matter movement, writing:
I cannot believe Summer was murdered. If they thought this murder would make us back down, they are very wrong. Very wrong.
The 32-year-old, from Portland, Oregon, went on to reveal they have been receiving horrible messages in the wake of the crash, writing that their Facebook page is ‘filled with death threats’.
Diaz implied the threats are taking their toll on them, saying those combined with the fact that they currently only have use of one hand as a result of the incident have left them ‘going slow’.
Though many people have been sending Diaz hateful messages, they thanked those who had offered their support, writing: ‘I deeply appreciate and feel all the love y’all are sending me.’
GoFundMe pages have been set up for both Diaz and Summer, who also used non-binary pronouns. Summer was described on the site as having been an ‘incredibly strong and independent spirit’, as well as a ‘bright and caring person whose presence elicits joy and laughter in others.’
Kelete, the driver who hit the pair, continued driving for about two miles after the crash before police caught him. The 27-year-old has not yet been charged, though a judge found probable cause to hold Kelete on an investigation of vehicular assault, USA Today reports.
Kelete’s bail was set at $1.2 million on Monday, July 6, and a charging decision is expected to be reached today, July 8.
The driver’s lawyer, John Henry Browne, insisted the crash was not intentional, but a ‘horrible, horrible accident’. Browne told The Associated Press there is ‘nothing political’ about the case, and that Kelete, who is Black, feels ‘tremendous guilt’ about the incident.
Kelete is a US citizen who lives with his religious family in Seattle. He was alone in the car when he struck the protesters, and a drugs and alcohol sobriety test showed he was not impaired.
As a result of the incident, state patrol announced it will no longer allow protesters to enter the interstate.
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.
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