Driver Who Plowed Into Minneapolis Protesters Won’t Be Charged
Hennepin County prosecutors will not charge the driver who plowed into a Minneapolis street protest late last year, injuring a 16-year-old girl.
Widely circulated footage shows Jeffrey Patrick Rice of St. Paul on November 25 driving into a crowd protesting the failure to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for killing Michael Brown. Rice, 40, told police the crowd had damaged his car and he was attempting to flee the scene. Police reports originally referred to Rice as the “victim.” The girl in the video suffered minor injuries, according to reports.
“After reviewing all of the facts from the police investigation, prosecutors determined that the actions Mr. Rice took did not reflect intent or actions that constitute a crime that could be charged,” the Hennepin County Attorney’s office said in a statement released last week.
The statement, naturally, refers to the ordeal as an “accident.” Because Rice stopped a mile away and notified police, prosecutors say he was not in violation of the state’s hit-and-run statute. They completely sidestep the fact that Rice was recorded intentionally driving his car into a crowd, which could potentially constitute assault with a deadly weapon.
The statement does say the door remains open for Minneapolis city officials to charge Rice with a misdemeanor.