A Black Lives Matter protest in Texas resulted in a heated confrontation between a frustrated driver and a group of demonstrators blocking a road, with video of the dramatic encounter spreading across social media.
Activists in Plano, a city about 20 miles (32.2 km) north of Dallas, marched through the streets on Sunday to raise awareness about the death of Marvin Scott III. The 26-year-old black man died while in police custody at a county jail in March. Seven officers were fired and one resigned over the incident, which was ruled a homicide in April.
In a now-viral video, demonstrators are seen blocking an intersection as they shout “Black Lives Matter” and wave signs reading “stop killing us” and other slogans. A large column of automobiles can be seen forming as motorists wait for the road to clear. Suddenly, a large man wearing sunglasses weaves between the stopped cars and heads straight towards the protesters.
Get the f**k out of my way!” he shouts at a hooded demonstrator who tried to block his path.
The man then turns to a police officer who is observing the situation at the side of the road.
“Get these f**king people out of the way. Get them out of here!” he yells at the cop. The officer’s response is inaudible amid the yelling, sirens and honking horns.
The angry motorist then redirects his anger at the demonstrators, appearing to knock a cellphone from the hand of a female protester who was filming the incident.
At this point, it appears that one of the activists draws a handgun. The weapon is quickly lowered, however, after a fellow demonstrator intervenes. Apparently not intimidated, the man in the sunglasses raises his fist to the shouting crowd gathering around him, yelling: “Come on! You want some?”
One of the guys even pulled a gun on him. pic.twitter.com/83yy0cyoGY
— Ricky Burnett (Code R3DKNIGHT) (@RickyInJapan) May 8, 2021
A man wearing a “legal observer” T-shirt then steps between the man and the demonstrators, before backing off. Finally, the police officer leads the fuming motorist away.
The man then points at several protesters, calling them “a**holes” before walking back to his car.
The confrontation seems to have split social media. Some condemned the man for exhibiting “white privilege” and criticized police for not being more forceful with him.
A local activist who spoke with the media said the unidentified motorist would have been treated differently by the cop had he been a “person of color.”
Notice how many times the officer’s hands go near his taser or weapon………zero. This man towered over the officer. Why wasn’t he ever afraid? Why didn’t he immediately feel the need to control him? #systemic #JusticeForMarvin #MARVINSCOTTIII pic.twitter.com/UItbs0PjWC
— Official Justice for Marvin (@MarvinDScottIII) May 3, 2021
— David Shuster (@DavidShuster) May 4, 2021
But others seemed to view the incident as proof that BLM demonstrators enjoy near impunity.
“Black Lives Matter does whatever it wants. It owns the streets, even in Texas,” commented conservative pundit Ian Miles Cheong. He noted with dismay that judging from the video, some of the blocked motorists seemed to side with the demonstrators.
Black Lives Matter does whatever it wants. It owns the streets, even in Texas. pic.twitter.com/El4L1xueMs
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) May 8, 2021
Commenters railed against the tactic of blocking traffic, describing it as “basically holding people hostage.” Others said it’s hard to believe that such a strategy would garner support for their cause.
This is basically holding ppl hostage. What if one of those cars had a sick passenger that was headed toward medical att? Or kids who are hungry headed home for food? This is not a protest this is holding ppl hostage.
— Naomie Just passing thru (@Justpas26296498) May 8, 2021
Blocking people from being able to get home from work is the worst way to get support for your cause.
— Kurt Mitch (@KurtMitch1) May 8, 2021