- Frank Nitty has been marching from Milwaukee to Washington, DC, for the last three weeks with a group of Black Lives Matter activists in tow.
- On Monday, they were walking through a Pennsylvania neighbourhood, when a white resident fired at a member of the group, leaving him hospitalized, a witness told Insider.
- The incident was partially caught on a livestream Nitty posted to Facebook.
- “All of a sudden, we see this older white man come hurling out of the bushes, and he’s firing at us,” Whitney Cabal, one activist, told Insider. “I was crouching behind my car door.”
- The group camped outside of the hospital where the shot activist was taken and refused to leave until he was released Tuesday afternoon.
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Dozens of Black Lives Matter protestors were fired at Monday night in Pennsylvania, one activist, Whitney Cabal, told Insider Tuesday.
One organiser of the march, who goes by Cino, was shot in the abdomen and was hospitalized overnight, said Cabal, who has spent the night in the facility’s parking lot.
“My brain is broken. My energy is broken,” said Cabal, who was standing near Cino when the shots were fired.
Cabal, who is from Kenosha, Wisconsin – where police shot Jacob Blake was shot at least seven times in back Sunday – joined Cino and other activists as they follow Milwaukee activist Frank Nitty on a 730-mile march to Washington, DC to bring awareness to racial injustice. Nitty and the group of around 50 people are scheduled to arrive in the city on August 27, a day before the 57th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.
The group, both walking and in cars, stopped to rest on the side of the road in the Juniata Township, a rural neighbourhood in Bedford County, Pennsylvania, to hold a night march and plan where they would settle for the night.
Cabal said she was dancing at the time when she heard several pops in the distance and asked if it was gunshots, but was assured it was likely fireworks.
“All of a sudden, we see this older white man come hurling out of the bushes, and he’s firing at us,” Cabal told Insider. “I was crouching behind my car door.”
Cabal said at that point, Cino tried to talk to the man telling him to go back in the house and demonstrators made their way back to their cars. The man was yelling back.
The man then shot Cino, who was carrying a pistol for protection, Cabal said. Cabal said she believes Cino fired back but didn’t strike the man.
Parts of the interaction between the Pennsylvania man and demonstrators were caught on video
Parts of the interaction were caught on a livestream by Nitty, who had been giving his followers an update on his trip at the time the shots were fired. Around 23 minutes in, you can see a man leave his home carrying a rifle. Gunshots can be heard.
“This dude is shooting at us,” Nitty says in the video.
Cino can be seen bleeding as he’s driven to a local hospital.
When they arrived, he underwent surgery and now has several stints in his liver, Cabal said.
Pennsylvania State Police is investigating the shooting and will hold a news conference Tuesday afternoon, according to a post on Twitter.
The Pennsylvania State Police’s ‘Heritage Affairs Section’ will be assisting with the investigation. That group is a “specialised unit dedicated to building relationships with historically underserved communities,” the statement said.
Troop G will be providing a Media Update at 3:30 p.m. Location – PSP Bedford, 171 Arthur L. Hershey Dr. Bedford, PA 15522 pic.twitter.com/GR1L6ezGjY
— Trooper Christopher Fox (@PSPTroopGPIO) August 25, 2020
Cabal said the group didn’t instigate the shooting, and had been peaceful and joyful during their march through Bedford County.
“This man came out shooting before we even knew where he was shooting from,” Cabal told Insider. “Cino could have pulled that pistol out and taken care of it, but he didn’t because that’s not who he is.”
There were several children, including a 14-month-old, with the demonstrators, Cabal told Insider.
Demonstrators spent the night outside the hospital, which Cabal asked Insider not to name for the protesters’ safety, sleeping on the pavement or in their cars.
On Tuesday, hospital staff brought out food and water for the group, and some locals offered them homes to take showers or seek comfort, she said.
Cino’s shooting came on the heels of Kenosha’s Jacob Blake being shot
Cabal said the shooting came at a time when the group was already experiencing trauma from the shooting of Jacob Blake in her home city only one day earlier.
On Monday, while she continued on her mission to DC, her husband had to take their children to his mother’s house because unrest was getting too close to their home.
“There’s a lot of hurt happening right now because my home city is on fire,” she said. “Yesterday, when that happened, it was really a lot of pain and sadness.”
Blake was shot by at least one Kenosha officer at least seven times on Sunday as he walked away from them to his car. A video of the shooting was posted to social media, launching protests, riots, and unrest in the city.
Despite the emotional trauma the group is facing in the wake of the two shootings, Cabal said that Nitty plans to continue on with the march.
“We’re not letting this slow us down, even if we have to move Cino from hospital to hospital,” Cabal said. “If Cino wants to go, we are not willing to leave him behind.”
Cino was released from the hospital around 3 p.m. on Tuesday.
This article has been updated.
- Read more:
- Video shows police in Wisconsin shooting a Black man in the back 7 times as he gets into a car
- Details, including a family photo, are emerging about Jacob Blake, the Black man shot 7 times by the police in Wisconsin
- Jacob Blake’s 3 sons were in the back of the car when the police shot him. A friend said it was one of the boys’ birthdays.
- Kenosha will keep burning until the cop who shot Jacob Blake is fired or arrested, local Black Lives Matter activists say: ‘People are mad’
- Biden condemns ‘systemic racism’ in the Wisconsin police shooting of Jacob Blake as Trump stays silent
- Officers from the same Wisconsin police department that shot James Blake once killed an unarmed man after shooting him in the head at point-blank range
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