AUSTIN, Texas — On Saturday night, protests calling for racial equality got a little tense after a driver pulled up in a car and reportedly pointed what appeared to be a gun at the crowd. KVUE was interviewing a protester when the car drove into the crowd.
Notably, Eighth Street was not shut down right outside Austin police headquarters, but the protesters blocked off the roadway on their own.
The driver lurched forward in his car. Then as protesters were yelling at him and surrounding his car, he reached into the center glove compartment and appeared to wave a gun at them.
Protesters got out of the way and he pulled over near police officers and got out of his car with his hands up. Police then took him into custody along with his car.
On Monday, KVUE confirmed the man has been released.
"This man was pointing a firearm, a handgun at everyone and waving it at every person he could see through the windows and yelling," a protester told KVUE.
Fortunately, nobody was hurt as the man drove through, but this incident led to protesters and officers getting confrontational. Police took a number of protesters into custody within the following 10 minutes. Police used pepper spray to clear away the crowd as they took protesters into custody.
According to police on the ground, several protesters were taken into custody for shining lasers at police, hitting a police horse and criminal trespass.
A small counter-protest was expected, but nobody from that counter-protest made an appearance at APD headquarters.
Protesters were outside APD after marching to city hall and back. These are the same protests that started about a month ago after police killed George Floyd in Minnesota and Michael Ramos in Austin.
Protesters are calling for the firing of Austin Police Chief Brian Manley after the incident.
"Officers attempted to follow up with the people who had been involved, but they were uncooperative," the APD said. "Given that no one would come forward as a victim and the driver claimed self-defense, officers did not have probable cause to make an arrest at that time."
Anyone who may have been involved and wishes to speak with investigators can call 512-472-8477.
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