Police clear Duluth mom with baby who drove through mob of protesters
The hundreds of protesters out in Duluth to oppose overturning Roe v. Wade were supposedly there to support women. But try telling that to the mother who was terrorized by a crowd of pro-abortion activists in the street while driving in downtown Duluth on Monday evening with a six-month old baby in the back seat.
Video footage used in the police investigation of the incident shows protesters in the street surrounding and hanging onto the woman’s white Toyota. Her vehicle inched forward even as an activist sprawled across the hood, obstructing her line of sight by holding a sign over the driver’s side of the windshield.
The police report documents the fearful moments that unfolded next, including the driver’s split-second decision to keep going in order to escape the mob and get out with her baby.
• The vehicle was soon surrounded by people, some of them pulling on door handles and grabbing onto the vehicle while her windows were down.
• The video shows people surrounding and preventing the vehicle from travelling down bound to Superior Street with people hanging onto or on top of the vehicle.
• The video shows the driver has a narrow opening without people immediately in front of their vehicle and accelerates down the avenue away from the group.
But the woman and her baby weren’t in the clear yet. Farther down the block another gauntlet of protesters confronted her, shouting expletives and running after as she continued driving down the street.
• About mid-block, the vehicle is struck with an object believed to be a walking stick that damages the windshield. The person responsible for causing the damage has been identified.
• A male can be seen giving chase on foot after the vehicle and is ultimately stopped and redirected by a traffic vested person with the words, “Clinic Escort.”
• The driver travels to the area of Lake Avenue and Superior Street and pulls over and immediately reports the incident to a police sergeant.
• The driver was emotional and reported being fearful for her safety and that of her child.
Incidents like this seem to happening more frequently nowadays with protesters feeling empowered to illegally occupy streets, putting drivers in the position of fearing for their own safety. Determining who’s culpable in the end for injuries and damages can be tricky for authorities. But not this time.
• The driver was on the roadway legally and came upon a march that they could not or did not know about and did not prepare a contingency.
• Those marching in the roadway did so without permit, permission or planning with police and did so illegally.
• The driver clearly and convincingly appeared emotional and the credibility of their statement for concern for their safety and that of their child is convincing and appears valid.
Duluth authorities put the onus squarely on the protesters. The report cleared the driver but left open the possibility of filing charges of “criminal damage to property and disorderly conduct to the subject damaging the windshield.”