Car moves through protest

Car moves through protest

In this video shot during Thursday's student protest at Centennial, a car can be seen moving through the crowd, which then disperses.

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GeneralLeePeeved wrote on December 09, 2014 at 2:12 pm

For those that earlier claimed that the driver accelerated and ramrodded through the crowd.....are you ready to apologize to the masses and eat your words?  The video clearly shows that the driver was at a complete stop, then crawled forward at no more than 5 to 10 mph for a total distance of less than 40 ft.   Good thing that the so-called witnesses to this act were SO-O-O-O  accurate, not!

Champaignite wrote on December 09, 2014 at 2:12 pm

So let me get this straight: the woman was at a complete stop then decided to drive through the a group of kids (in a school zone nonetheless) as they walked down the street but it was only at 5-10 mph so it's ok???? Thanks for the opportunity to apologize but I'm thinking most people will pass even after seeing her only going 5-10 mph.  I think most people will also pass on the opportunity to get hit by a car even if it's only going 5-10 mph.    Unbeliveable.  If this happened to a bunch of kids from the suburbs on campus, it would have been a whole different narrative and reaction. 

GeneralLeePeeved wrote on December 09, 2014 at 3:12 pm

Here are some of the brilliant first-day comments that have been completed disproved by the video:

"The "innocent" motorist recklessly accelerated through the group of students"


"Wanna talk facts? How about the fact that she accelerated into the group of students? Or the FACT that 2 of them were injured? We have video and photo evidence of this."


"I have already watched multiple videos of the incident which very clearly show the woman accelerating through a group of students resulting in screams and cries as the car strikes them, and THEN students hitting her windows in an attempt to get her to stop."


"It sure looks like the driver was behaving with impunity"


"Yes, the driver did hit kids and was accelerating. Where is her punishment?"


"...but I was there afterwards and I heard kids telling me she was revving her engine while going through the crowd."


chumberley wrote on December 09, 2014 at 7:12 pm

Maybe I'm mistaken, but isn't moving forward from a stopped position accelerating?  Going from 0 mph while stopped to 5-10 mph can only be accomplished by accelerating.  In order to go from 0 mph to 5-10 mph requires removing your foot from the brake and applying pressure to the accelerator, also known as accelerating.  

But let's check the dictionary to be sure.  Hmmm... states that the definition of accelerate is "to move or go faster; increase in speed."

Move:  start at one point and end at another.  Check.  The driver did that.

Go faster, increase in speed:  increase from 0 mph to 5-10 mph.  Check.  The driver did that.

It seems to me as if the video PROVES that those comments were correct.  The driver did without a doubt accelerate into a crowd of students.

GeneralLeePeeved wrote on December 10, 2014 at 7:12 am

Since you insist on being facetious and splitting's a little sarcasm for you.   Look genius....put your foot on your brake pedal (and press down a little), shift the car into drive.....that's the one with the "D" by it.  Now, take your foot off of the brake pedal.   Guess what....your car rolls forward, all without touching the accelerator pedal (that's the one on the right).  Funny, but that's exactly what appears to happen in the video. 

chumberley wrote on December 10, 2014 at 8:12 am

Did that, and guess what?  My car didn't move.  Not until I pressed on the accelerator.  Maybe yours does, but I don't believe that this a common characteristic of all vehicles.

But I haven't seen the video evidence from inside the driver's car that supports your claim.  Perhaps you could share that with the public?

No one has made any statements as to the movement of the driver's feet or what she did to cause the car to accelerate.  It has only been stated that the driver accelerated.  If a car begins moving forward when a driver takes their foot off the brake, this still constitutes acceleration.  The driver still undertook some action (removing her foot from the brake) that caused her car to move forward (i.e. accelerate) into a crowd of students.  

The driver is in control of her vehicle and is fully responsible for the movement of her vehicle while she is operating it.  The law very clearly states that driver's DO NOT have the right to accelerate and strike people with their cars, REGARDLESS of why the people are in the street.  People being in the street illegally is not an excuse to hit them with your car.  This driver broke the law and deserves to be ticketed or charged accordingly.

unknown2 wrote on December 10, 2014 at 3:12 pm

Yes the law does say that but the law also says that protesters can't block traffic. I know 100% that traffic was purposefully blocked. I go to centennial and know some of these students who were involved in the blocking of the traffic and it was absolutely their intention. Two laws were broken but the breaking of the first one caused the breaking of the second one! It is NOT 100% the drivers she at fault in some ways? Absolutley, however so were the students who decided to illegally block traffic. 

chumberley wrote on December 10, 2014 at 8:12 pm

"Two laws were broken but the breaking of the first one caused the breaking of the second one!"

The breaking of the first law did not CAUSE the breaking of the second one.  The breaking of the first law created a scenario that allowed for the breaking of the second one by presenting the driver with several options for action (waiting, backing up, driving forward).  If the first law hadn't been broken, the breaking of the second law wouldn't have been possible.  But creating the possibility does not cause the subsequent action.  The breaking of the second law arose solely from the decision by the driver to take the particular action of driving forward.  The driver had other options available, but she chose to break the law.  She is 100% responsible for her choices and her actions.

As a high school student, you should educate yourself on the law.  Please don't think that someone being in the street illegally excuses you to hit them.  I hope that this discussion does not give teens the idea that such behavior is acceptable.  The law very clearly states that a driver cannot drive into people in the street even if those people are there illegally.  Drivers always have the responsibility to avoid hitting pedestrians regardless of whether or not the pedestrians are supposed to be there.

As another commenter posted:  The Illinois Rules of the Road state:  "Drivers and pedestrians both are responsible for traffic safety. Drivers should always be prepared to yield the right-of-way and should not drive unnecessarily close to pedestrians."  Additionally this was in a school zone.

Even though I disagree with you, I applaude you for speaking up in a public forum.  Just make sure that you are reading all of the relevant facts (including the law) and weigh them carefully while forming your opinion.

unknown2 wrote on December 09, 2014 at 5:12 pm

The women should not have driven through however as a "peaceful" protest you are not allowed to block traffic, which they did on purpose. So who broke the law first? If they would have stayed on school grounds and followed rules nothing would have happened. I am not saying at all that the women was right to drive through them, however the students were in violation by disrupting the flow of traffic. 

vcponsardin wrote on December 09, 2014 at 3:12 pm

Yup.  The driver was 100% at fault.  You don't start driving through a crowd of people in a car at any speed.  Drivers are obligated by law to avoid causing an accident and this person clearly panicked and decided to deliberatedly drive through the crowd after s/he had come to a complete stop, endangering the lives of those students.  A traffic citation is in order, no doubt.  Foolish move by a foolish person.

GeneralLeePeeved wrote on December 09, 2014 at 3:12 pm

...and by going 5 mph, she gave all of the kids, who were all ILLEGALLY standing in the street, PLENTY of time to get the hell out of the way!  How hard is that to figure out?

rsp wrote on December 09, 2014 at 5:12 pm

Most of those kids couldn't see her car moving and their vision was blocked by other kids so how could they have plenty of time to get out of the way? The driver on the other hand could see the road was blocked before she was at the side street and was near the kids. Why insist on driving down there? Why not go around?

Why not wait a few seconds to let them pass? She had time to see how big the group was and let some pass before she started driving into the rest of the kids. They were already there. She chose to drive into the kids. People do not have the right to drive their cars into other people just because they think they can.

unknown2 wrote on December 09, 2014 at 5:12 pm

Thank you! Finally someone understands they were illegally in the street! As a "peaceful" protest you are not allowed to block traffic, and what did this group of students do? Purposefully blocked traffic!! 

unicorn1116 wrote on December 09, 2014 at 3:12 pm

In looking at the video, it seems that she could very well have been in the wrong place at the wrong time.  If they did not want traffic on the road in front of the school, then the street should have been blocked off.  She might not have been aware of the "peaceful protest", and seeing a bunch of people come at her, she could have just been trying to get out of the way, and instead of backing up made the wrong decision.

Obviously, it was not the best choice.  But that is never a reason to hit cars and crack a windshield! Those students involved were wrong.  The person who wrote the letter to the editor asking for the students involved to not be charged is in the wrong - they should be held accountable for their actions. Violence is never the avenue for change.

GeneralLeePeeved wrote on December 10, 2014 at 7:12 am


chumberley wrote on December 10, 2014 at 8:12 am


Anne McCabe wrote on December 10, 2014 at 10:12 am

DEFINATELY, as I've said all along this DRIVER should BE CHARGED!! Whatever your belief on the protest taking place .. these "pedestrians" cetainly had the right of way, certainly in a school zone.

welive wrote on December 10, 2014 at 1:12 pm

maybe the students should not of taken up the public roadway infront of a school that has that much traffic.both are to blame here.the driver could of used a side street.the students could of planed this with the police to close the road to ensure the saftey of everyone involved.and was there not enough room on school grounds?

bluegrass wrote on December 10, 2014 at 1:12 pm

What should the charge be?  

SaintClarence27 wrote on December 12, 2014 at 11:12 am

From IPI jury instructions:

Aggravated assault:

A person commits the offense of aggravated assault when, he [ (intentionally)

(knowingly) (recklessly) ] [without lawful authority] engages in conduct which places anotherperson in reasonable apprehension of receiving [ (bodily harm) (physical contact of an insultingor provoking nature) ], and[9] the person he assaults is, at the time of the assault, on or about a public way, publicproperty, or public place of accommodation or amusement.[or](7) Without justification operates a motor vehicle in    a manner which places a person, other than a person listed in subdivision (b)(4), in reasonable apprehension of being struck by the moving motor vehicle. 

Aggravated battery:

A person commits the offense of aggravated battery when he [(intentionally)(knowingly)] [without legal justification] and by any means [(causes bodily harm to) (makesphysical contact of an insulting or provoking nature with)] another person, and[8a] in doing so, he is on or about [(a public way) (public property) (a public place ofaccommodation) (a public place of amusement)].[or][8b] at the time he does so, the other person is on or about [(a public way) (publicproperty) (a public place of accommodation) (a public place of amusement)].  


highspeed wrote on December 11, 2014 at 9:12 am

Pedestrians only have right of way in a designated crosswalk!!. Impeding traffic is illegal unless you have a permit to parade around  in the street!!

SupportStudents wrote on December 11, 2014 at 11:12 am

So if someone is committing a minor infraction, it's ok to drive into them? The video clearly shows that the students were walking around her, and fast. Had she just waited 30 seconds she could have gone on her merry way unimpeded, but she chose to put students at risk. Inconvenient, maybe, but in no way a justification for what she did. When would it ever be acceptable to drive into a crowd of people, whatever they may be doing. If I see a jaywalker, I might be annoyed, but I'm certainly not going to steer right into them!

SaintClarence27 wrote on December 12, 2014 at 10:12 am

Yes, and that doesn't provide *any* legal justification for her actions. Otherwise, you could head up to campus with a shotgun and really take care of the jaywalkers.

Bulldogmojo wrote on December 12, 2014 at 11:12 am


There is the freedom to protest and then there is unlawful obstruction and detainment of someone going about their own lives who either didn't know about the protest at all or exercised their freedom to not be part of it.

Know the difference !!

SaintClarence27 wrote on December 12, 2014 at 12:12 pm

And?  How does that make assault and battery by the driver ok?

Bulldogmojo wrote on December 12, 2014 at 1:12 pm


At what point would Reginald Denny have had the right to accelerate?

SaintClarence27 wrote on December 12, 2014 at 6:12 pm

When he was reasonably in fear of imminent bodily harm. That's the law. In this case, the woman was surrounded by schoolchildren who were marching past her car. 

Bulldogmojo wrote on December 12, 2014 at 9:12 pm


Let's not just say "schoolchildren" you make it sound like they were toddlers with hello kitty backpacks. You even hear at the end of the video the person in the room say, "A car tried to go through and people just kind of blocked it" which is what it looked like. So you don't know what this person believed was about to happen. If you're implying it's their call as to what imminent harm is. Or did you interview the person in the car already. Given the current protest climate and the ever present rogue element in any large protest crowd the potential danger was imminent. You can never predict when mob mentality will combust in a single second from what would seem to be an orderly assembly as evidence by the impulse for someone to attack the car.

If we're drawing lines of subjectivity counselor

SaintClarence27 wrote on December 12, 2014 at 11:12 pm

It's a *reasonable* apprehension of imminent harm. Being surrounded by high schoolers protesting (I don't know what you refer to as the "current protest climate" - have there been incidents of mob violence in C-U since the 60s?) doesn't qualify.

C-U Townie wrote on December 12, 2014 at 5:12 pm

I love how people are saying this motorist broke the law and could have caused serious injury... but yet resisting police... assaulting an officer... It's ok that the Mike Brown and Eric Garner took actions that could have harmed (and did harm) someone else... and we're protesting for them??? And students are allowed to flood the streets (on the wrong side of the road no less) and we're supporting that militant behavior? Yes, please tell me more about how to identify victims.

SaintClarence27 wrote on December 12, 2014 at 6:12 pm

Why are the two mutually exclusive? And I think at least PART of the outcry is that this motorist CLEARLY broke the law, and yet isn't being charged. Is it so unreasonable to think that this may be on account of her race?

cwdog57 wrote on December 13, 2014 at 7:12 am

maybe the answer is just simply fear. the driver probably had no idea about what was happening and was  scared to death. fight or flight....right. a human response. they were both wrong but thank the lord noone was hurt.

asparagus wrote on December 13, 2014 at 9:12 pm

The driver seemed to be blind sided. However, I would have just sat idle while the crowd passed around me (hopefully not harming my car). I can't see any reason why the driver tried to proceed.

It is absolutely clearly an over reaction to say the driver drove into the crowd with any polictical intent. Let us all just admit that that is non sense and move forward.


illini82 wrote on January 28, 2015 at 8:01 am

 Interesting how the States Attorney's office decided to "let this go" for the purpose of politicial correctness. That is letting those who damaged the vehicle get away with vandalism and if a person is in a vehicle that could very easily also be an act of "assualt" on the driver or other occupant in the vehicle. 

I listened and watched the video numberous times and there is an audible sound like that of window or something breaking just after the crowd begins to pass the car. The vehicle was stopped then when the crowd started to go around the vehicle there was sort of a thud sound and it's clear that there were people banging on the car with their hands and others were yelling at the occupants inside WHILE THE VEHICLE WAS STOPPED. It was after that sound that the vehicle began to move.

IF the glass or any window was broken just as students started to walk by then it would be reasonable for the driver to be in fear of their life and limb from a mob of people so it would be then be reasonable for the driver to attempt to exit the area. Again this vehicle was stopped and was letting the mob walk by but something happened that the driver feared for their personal safety.

Unless you have a permit a gathering  has no right to block a street and it certainly has no right to threaten drivers, pedestrians or other bystanders in the area. This escalated from a protest to a mob.

The school and local police let this get out of hand by not confining it to the school grounds as intended.

Mob mentality is very dangerous. While a large majority of those involved intended to have peaceful demonstration all it takes is one or two trouble makers to incite a mob into something more and it doesn't take much for a large group of what was peaceful people to become an enraged and dangerous throng bent on harm and destruction.

That person or persons that actually broke the window should be prosecuted at the very least for vandalism and possibly for assault. 

But now we have a mentality that if certain groups of people protest they are exempt from the law due to political correctness. The decision not to prosecute will only embolden those who in future protests will feel they are "exempt" from the law and are free to whatever they wish including vandalism, arson, and even assualt of innocent bystanders and police officers.

Those in the car a LUCKY to not have been harmed by the more violent participants in the mob. You can here threats and obseneties being shouted at the driver and would be occupants to get out of the car. If the vehicles occupants had exited the vehicle it is likely they would have been physically assualted. This fear of being in true danger is what drove the driver to want to exit the area.

What would the State's Attorneys office have done IF the driver and/or occupants were assaulted and seriously injured or even killed by the more violent members of the mob. Would they still just "let it go"?

I wonder and fear even if there was  a vicious assualt on a person at this protest that the States Attorneys office would have indeed put their head in the sand and pretend it didn't happen. Or worse yet spend a great deal of effort TO MAKE THE VICTIM THE CRIMINAL. Sadly numerous posters here are attempting to do just that. "How dare the victims in the car have the audacity to be on a public street minding their own business!" "How dare they attempt to leave if they are in fear of their own safety after having their vehicle vandalized and they themselves verbally assaulted and threatened!"

So much for law and order.