On Tuesday evening, Sept 15th, Melissa Gray, a pharmacist at CVS in Tampa, Florida purposefully tried to drive into Black Lives Matter protesters. As the protesters attempt to de-escalate the situation, Melissa remains stubborn on not turning around even though she has open roads behind her. A nearby employee of a restaurant even makes an effort to reason with her but she rolls up her window as he is talking. Pepper spray in hand, she then calls the Tampa police (or 911) saying “I can’t move. They’re blocking all my lanes,”
While this is happening, a male driver in a truck (plate NSD Q71 or NSB Q71) drives onto the curb of a nearby bar to go around the whole barrier and scene, accelerating quickly towards the other marchers on foot ahead. One of the safety vehicles in a blue truck speeds up to attempt to stop the truck from running over the protesters.
Melissa Gray takes this opportunity to also speed ahead towards protesters, pushing one with her car as she moves forward. Meanwhile, the white safety vehicle swerves to slow her down in an attempt to save the marchers lives, hitting her vehicle in the process. Seeing the first truck turn, the blue safety vehicle blocks the intersection to then stop Melissa. After a collision with the white vehicle, Melissa attempts to flee the scene of the accident but must come to a screeching halt to avoid T-boning the blue safety vehicle.
Tampa PD swarms the scene and arrests the driver of the white safety vehicle for “aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and false imprisonment” even though it appears that driver was trying to stop the jeep (Melissa) from running over someone. Tampa PD also does not appear to pursue the truck who was driving onto the grass at the bar, speeding towards the marchers, running over two curbs, and eventually turns before he reaches the protesters. Keep in mind, there is an unmarked police vehicle on the scene watching the whole incident play out.
Melissa Gray (Jeep plate DES U01 with a blue lives matter bumper sticker) is not arrested or even given a citation. Her vehicle stayed on the scene so no one would notice she was discreetly escorted home by a patrol car after dark. Meanwhile, the blue safety vehicle was given a citation and the bail for the driver in the white safety vehicle who attempted to save lives and only half blocked the road is set at $9500.
In this screenshot, a clear path behind Melissa’s vehicle can easily be seen: