Photo: AP
  /  07.09.2020


On Wednesday (July 8), a Seattle man was charged with vehicular homicide, vehicular assault and reckless driving after he drove his car into a group of Black Lives Matter protesters, injuring one person and killing another.

Dawit Kelete is now being held at King County Correctional Facility and his bail is currently set at $1.2 million. According to the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, two of the charges, vehicular homicide and vehicular assault, are felonies. He could face more than 13 years in prison.

Kelete was driving a white Jaguar when he plowed into the protesters at an accelerated speed on Saturday (July 4) morning. Summer Taylor, one of the protesters, passed away later at the hospital. Diaz Love, another protester, is currently in the hospital in serious condition.

“I’m alive and stable,” Love posted on Facebook. “In a lot of pain. I cannot believe Summer was murdered. If they thought this murder would make us back down, they are very wrong. Very wrong.”

Love continued, “My FB is filled with death threats, that and only being able to use one hand has me going slow. I deeply appreciate and feel all the love y’all are sending me.”

According to the prosecutor’s office, Kelete “drove at freeway speeds in lane one toward the barricade of three vehicles” and eventually “continued driving at freeway speeds on the shoulder,” passing the barrier of vehicles. “Before him were running pedestrians” and he “veered sharply left and directly into” the two demonstrators “who were not able to run off the road.”

After the accident, he was given a field sobriety test for drugs and alcohol and passed. “The driver was reserved and appeared sullen throughout his time in custody,” Trooper James McGuire noted in the arrest report. “At one point, he asked if the injured pedestrians were okay.”

Kelete’s lawyer John Henry Browne said the crash was a “horrible, horrible accident,” but was not intentional. “There’s absolutely nothing political about this case whatsoever,” the attorney told The Associated Press. “My client is in tears. He’s very remorseful. He feels tremendous guilt.”



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