Occupy protester files lawsuit after being hit by car

March 16, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Four months after a man was hit by a car during an Occupy protest in Oakland, the driver has not been charged. Now, the protester's lawyer is pushing police to act.

On November 2, the cellphone video caught Lance Laverdure trying to cross the street during a peaceful demonstration. The man behind the wheel of the Mercedes inched forward. Laverdure began banging on the hood. That's when the driver slammed on the gas. Laverdure was injured and so was a woman, Margaret So.

"It's inexplicable to me why there hasn't been a charge of an arrest, four months later," said Carla Minnard.

Minnard is Laverdure's attorney. Friday she filed a suit against the registered owner of the car, Sara Abu-Nasser, presumably the driver's girlfriend who was in the car at the time of the incident.

They have also filed claims against the city of Oakland, Oakland Police Department and BART police because the driver was allowed to leave after being questioned by BART police. This angered the crowd.

On Nov. 3, 2011, BART police spokesperson Frank Lucarelli said, "We got all the pertinent information that we needed. We released everybody based on the right thing to do."

"This was an attempted murder. This was assault with great bodily injury. This was assault with a deadly weapon. This was mayhem," said Minnard.

"I want justice for myself, Margaret, and the community because none of us deserve this," said Laverdure.

Police told us over the phone: the entire department, including the investigators in this case, have been busy with other mass demonstrations and a number of homicides. While they take this investigation very seriously, they want to make sure they conduct a complete and thorough investigation.

With that said, the department knows who the man is. They have interviewed him. Investigators are confident they will be able to present the case to the district attorney's office very soon, as early as next week.

In the meantime, Laverdure's attorney is also asking State Attorney General Kamala Harris to investigate the case on possible civil rights violations.


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