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Someone with no license plates drove through people on the Black Liberation Ride

Posted by on June 20th, 2020 at 3:36 pm

Still images from dashcam video. Driver is going west on NE Skidmore toward NE 14th.

Another group of peaceful bike riders was assaulted by the driver of a car. It happened yesterday during the Black Liberation Ride in northeast Portland.

Damage to René Morin’s bike. (Photo: slowestbikerever/Instagram)

According to witnesses, including someone who was driving by and shared a recording of the incident taken from their dashcam (watch below), it happened on Northeast Skidmore between 14th and 15th. Several riders were involved in the incident. One rider, Rene Morin, sustained minor injuries and his bike is heavily damaged. The community has already rallied around him with donations to get the bike fixed/replaces (his Venmo is @Rene-Morin if you’d like to help).

The suspect was driving a 2007, grey metallic Ford Escape Hybrid SUV. The vehicle had no license plates (something that I’ve noticed has become much more common on Portland streets these days). A Reddit user named SocialSchmedia who specializes in identifying cars (seriously) shared this key additional information which will help identify the vehicle:

Rear windows have a dark tint. And it has 2 crossbars on the roof rack. Car seems to be in really good condition for the year and the only damage I see is looks like it is missing a clip on the driver side front below the headlight.

The vehicle does not have a tow hitch and no running boards.

What leads me to believe it is a 2007 is the lower cladding on the front bumper, there is a different design in 2008.

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The key factor for this car is the wheels. This is a hybrid because in that year only the hybrid had that particular wheel pattern.

These hybrid models are rare-ish. You do see them, but a hybrid in that color with no highly visible damage will stand out.

You will see many cars that look like this, but if you memorize the wheel pattern you will not miss it.

Here’s how the owner of the dashcam, Reddit user albearrr, described the incident:

“There was a large group of cyclists riding around town for a protest. They had a few cyclists block off roads so cars wouldn’t be driving down the same route. I was detoured this way.

When I turned on a side street to try to bypass the cyclists’ route, I saw a group of cyclists riding down 15th and then the Ford Escape coming up north and running into some of them. Group of cyclists tried to stop the driver, but he kept going, running over some bikes, hitting other people, and then driving off.”

Here are links to albearr’s front dashcam and rear dashcam. The video below shows both videos cropped together. The collisions happened in the distance and you can see people chasing after the driver.

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This is just the latest in what has become a very disturbing trend of people driving cars into groups of vulnerable people assembling in the street to protest police brutality and support Black Lives Matter. On Thursday we shared a list of six episodes of vehicular violence since May 29th. We have heard of several others in addition to those and this most recent one.

If you see or hear about someone driving into people who are using the street in a mass demonstration or ride, please let us know.

And keep your eyes peeled for this vehicle grey Ford Escape.

If you are wondering, the ride itself was “beautiful” according to one person I heard from. We had a photographer there and will share her photos as soon as possible.

(Image sent to us by a reader)

UPDATE, 4:30: Ride organizers Mobilize the Movement said via Instagram today they are setting up a fund for René and for another person who was struck by another driver in a separate incident on the same ride.

A reader sent us video of this white minivan (license plate 330HDR) who she said attempted to run over people who were on the ride. The driver got out and talked to the person who took the video and said he “Didn’t have time to wait” and that “I don’t have any problem with you guys.”

Organizers are asking that you email them at mobilizethemovement@gmail.com if you have information about either of these vehicles or the drivers. “At this point we would like to avoid anymore police involvement,” they said. You can donate to the recovery fund here.

Driver who ran over bikes and riders. (Still image from video by via_la_van on Instagram)

UPDATE: Instagram user via_la_van caught up to the driver and captured him on video. As you can see if you click through to their IG post, the driver (a Black man) asks the video taker if they are racist and then dismisses the fact that he drove over people and their bikes.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org
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NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. BikePortland is an inclusive company with no tolerance for discrimination or harassment including expressions of racism, sexism, homophobia, or xenophobia. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

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Middle of the Road Guy
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Middle of the Road Guy

It’s reasons like this why I think enforcement is all the more necessary.

This car (and jerk driving it) should not have been on the road. I’d love to see the day where we had smart driver’s licenses and cars with sensors that would only permit valid drivers on the road. No license affixed to the car? No valid license? No start.

Yes, I know there are ways around that (like someone else’s license), but it would be a beginning.

Champs
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Champs

Lots of cars are driving around without any registration.

Even before the pandemic, probably going back a year, I haven’t been able to get PPB or OSP interested in a license plate that’s been tampered with.

David Hampsten
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Might they be victims of license plate theft, a form of identity theft?

RudiV
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RudiV

Hmm… what events recently might cause someone to fear being stopped and falsely imprisoned by groups of self-righteous “peaceful protesters”?

SD
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SD

Another SUV that does not live up to its name.