LOS ANGELES – The organizer of a Southern California rally against police brutality and racism was charged with attempted murder Tuesday for driving her car into counterprotesters and running over a woman's head.
Tatiana Turner deliberately drove into a crowd of President Donald Trump's supporters with the intent to kill the woman and also seriously injured a man who broke his leg, Orange County prosecutors said.
“She positioned her vehicle to be used as a backup weapon and she used that vehicle as a deadly weapon, willing to injure and kill those who stood in her way,” District Attorney Todd Spitzer said in a statement.
A defense lawyer said Turner tried unsuccessfully to get help from deputies Saturday in Yorba Linda after her group was overwhelmed by a hostile crowd.
Turner saw people with guns and feared for her life when she got into her car that was blocked by Trump supporters, attorney Ludlow Creary II said. She was trying to get away and didn't intend to hit anyone.
“There were actions that caused her to become fearful for her life and that’s when she accelerated,” Creary said.
Turner, 40, made her first appearance in court remotely from the jail and was ordered held on $1 million bail. A not guilty plea was entered on her behalf by her lawyer.
The incident is one of more than 100 where motorists have plowed into demonstrations since late May, following protests against police brutality that grew nationwide over the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis officer, according to Ari Weil, deputy director on the Chicago Project on Security and Threats at the University of Chicago.