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Man points gun at SC Black Lives Matter demonstration, protesters say

Bristow Marchant and Joshua Boucher, The State (Columbia, S.C.) on

Published in News & Features

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Protesters demonstrating against Confederate monument supporters at the S.C. State House say a driver passing by pointed a gun at them Friday morning.

The incident occurred as different groups gathered at the State House on the five-year anniversary of the Confederate flag's removal from the State House grounds.

Protesters were standing on the median in the middle of Gervais Street across from the State House waving signs at passing cars when they got into a confrontation with a driver at the Main Street stoplight.

Protester Kamison Burgess told The State the driver "pulled up sticking his middle finger out."

"He stopped in the middle of the road at the green light and said 'All lives matter,'" Burgess said. "One of the girls, she was explaining, 'Yes, all lives matter, but they can't matter at the moment until Black lives matter.'

"At that point in time, he drove up a little more, the light was still green, and he started fidgeting around inside his car, and he pointed a gun out at us."

 

Burgess showed The State video of a white, middle-aged man in a four-door Kia sedan interacting with protesters. What appears to be a muzzle can briefly be seen as the car pulls away toward Assembly Street, as protesters can be heard shouting, "He's got a gun."

The incident occurred shortly before noon Friday. The Columbia Police Department said two officers at the scene responded when protesters called out for assistance. On Friday afternoon, investigators were looking into the incident, and reviewing the video of the driver and his vehicle shot by protesters at the scene.

"We encourage citizens to share any additional video they may have with CPD, and to call Crimestoppers with any information," said police information officer Jennifer Timmons.

The protesters were among dozens who turned out Friday morning to picket three men wearing period uniforms standing as an honor guard around the Confederate Soldiers Monument on the S.C. State House grounds, the first of two events planned to mark the anniversary of the removal of the Confederate flag.

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