A North Carolina woman has been arrested and faces multiple charges after reportedly driving her vehicle into two women who were protesting the fatal police shooting of Andrew Brown Jr.
On Monday, May 24, Lisa Michelle O’Quinn, 41, of Elizabeth City, North Carolina, drove into the women, identified in the Elizabeth City Police Department’s press release as Michelle Fleming Morris, 42, and Valerie Lindsey, 42, while they were “peacefully protesting and exercising their constitutional rights.”
Before hitting both women with her white sedan, O’Quinn allegedly rolled down her window and threatened the protestors, claiming that if members of the Elizabeth City Police Department, who were guarding the procession, were not present, the protesters ‘would not be safe,'” according to The Daily Beast, which spoke with Lindsey.
Lindsey also alleges that O’Quinn hurled the N-word and other racial slurs at the protestors as they approached her car after the threat. “She said it freely,” Lindsey said.
O’Quinn was pulled over and arrested shortly after the incident, but not before police reportedly allowed her to drive off after hitting the women, according to witness accounts and footage reviewed by TDB. “They just wanted to let her go,” said Deshawn Morris, husband of victim Michelle Fleming Morris.
Once apprehended, O’Quinn was arrested and charged with two felony counts of assault with a deadly weapon with the intent to kill, one count of careless and reckless driving, and one count of unsafe movement. The Elizabeth City Police Department is also exploring treating the incident as a hate crime due to the accusations.
O’Quinn, who was held in jail on a $40,000 bond, is expected to make her first court appearance on Thursday, May 27.
The protest was one of the continuous gatherings that have taken place since Brown’s April 21 killing by Pasquotank County sheriff’s deputies while the 42-year-old a drug-related warrant for his arrest. Pasquotank County District Attorney R. Andrew Womble announced on Tuesday, May 18, that the deputies involved would not be charged, and explained that “the facts of this case clearly illustrate the officers who used deadly force on Andrew Brown Jr. did so reasonably and only when a violent felon used a deadly weapon to place their lives in danger.”