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Woman Charged With Attempted Murder After Driving Into Pro-Trump Protesters

A prolonged confrontation between Black Lives Matter and pro-Trump demonstrators outside Los Angeles turned violent Saturday, as someone drove a car through the pro-Trump group. The driver has been charged with attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon.

One man suffered two broken legs, and a woman was moderately injured, Orange County Sheriff's officials said. It was the second time since Thursday that Southern California protesters have been injured by a vehicle and it's just the latest vehicle attack of dozens that have been reported since nationwide protests began in May.

But while experts see a rise in vehicle attacks coming from right-wing extremists, police say the driver in Saturday's incident was a member of the so-called "Caravan for Justice," which organized the Black Lives Matter protest.

The alleged assault happened during a protest called by the Urban Organizers Coalition to "rise against police BRUTALITY, social injustice, and systemic RACISM," a flyer ahead of the event proclaimed.

But as the BLM protesters marched along a six-lane highway in downtown Yorba Linda, counter-protesters carrying American flags and Trump 2020 banners began taunting them from across the street, the Orange County Register reported. Then the Trump supporters crossed the highway and confronted the BLM group, according to the Register.

"U-S-A!" the American-flag waving group chanted.

"Black lives matter!" the BLM protesters responded.

About 30 minutes into the protests, Orange County Sheriff's Department officials say they began to get reports of physical altercations between the two groups — including at least one person pepper sprayed by another protester. Police declared an unlawful assembly and ordered everyone to leave the area.

Video of the incident showed a white car surrounded by a crowd of demonstrators. The car then suddenly accelerated through the crowd, ramming into the group carrying Trump signs and American flags. Someone smashed its rear window as it tried to speed away.

Police detained and arrested the driver, identified as 40-year-old Tatiana Turner of Long Beach. Police say Turner was believed to be part of the Caravan for Justice.

According to the Associated Press, Turner is being held on $1 million bail, and is scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Matthew S. Schwartz is a reporter with NPR's news desk. Before coming to NPR, Schwartz worked as a reporter for Washington, DC, member station WAMU, where he won the national Edward R. Murrow award for feature reporting in large market radio. Previously, Schwartz worked as a technology reporter covering the intricacies of Internet regulation. In a past life, Schwartz was a Washington telecom lawyer. He got his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center, and his B.A. from the University of Michigan ("Go Blue!").

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