Black Lives Matter activist once again ordered to face trial for driving through California crowd

A Black Lives Matter supporter from Long Beach on Wednesday was once again ordered to face trial for allegedly purposely driving through a crowd of counter-protesters during a violent confrontation at a Yorba Linda demonstration .

Orange County Superior Court Judge Scott Steiner determined there is enough evidence for the attempted murder case against Tatiana Turner to proceed to jury trial. Turner also faces counts of mayhem and assault with a deadly weapon, among other charges.

Law enforcement officials have alleged that Turner deliberately drove through a crowd, contending she could have avoided hitting counter-protesters. Turner’s supporters say she acted in self-defense while being surrounded by an angry mob.

It was the second time that a multi-day preliminary hearing in the case has resulted in such a ruling. However, the results of Turner’s previous preliminary hearing were essentially overturned, after it was determined that a different judge violated Turner’s constitutional rights by preventing her defense attorney from present their own witnesses or arguments.

After the results of that earlier preliminary hearing were overturned, prosecutors re-filed the charges and the case was re-assigned to Judge Steiner.

The criminal charges stem from what was by all accounts a chaotic and violent clash between opposing protesters in the parking lot of the now-closed Yorba Linda Library building on Sept. 26, 2020.

Turner – founder of Long Beach-based Caravan 4 Justice – was among a group of activists protesting police violence who gathered in the library parking lot. A group of counter-protesters had set up across Imperial Highway, in the parking lot of a Mimi’s Cafe.

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According to courtroom testimony and video footage from the scene, The counter-protesters – many wearing pro-Trump clothing and waving American flags – crossed the roadway to confront the Black Lives Matter supporters. Screaming and yelling quickly escalated to pushing and shoving, and deputies who were unable to quickly break up the clash retreated from the parking lot, as a deputy in a helicopter hovering overhead ordered everyone to leave the area.

In the midst of the clashes between opposing sides, Turner got into her Nissan Sentra as a group of more than a dozen counter-protesters gathered around the vehicle, according to testimony and videos played in court. Turner accelerated, quickly stopped, then accelerated again, running over a woman’s head and a man’s leg.

During the earlier preliminary hearing, the man Turner is accused of running over testified that she looked him right in the eyes before moving forward. Video footage from the scene showed at least one person kicking Turner’s car either immediately before the vehicle began to move or at the same time.

A group of more than a dozen counter-protesters chased after Turner as she drove out of the parking lot. A deputy during both preliminary hearings testified that Turner pulled up next to him, at least some windows on her car shattered or broken, and said she was scared.

Turner’s attorney, Senior Deputy Public Defender Alisha Montoro, argued that Turner was confronted by an angry, aggressive crowd and was in fear for her …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment

      

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