In Harm’s Way
A nationwide threat
Explore the data behind 16 months of car rammings across the United States
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The murder of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020, led to a nationwide wave of racial justice demonstrations and the rise of a new type of backlash against them – people using their vehicles as weapons against protesters.
The car becomes the weapon
Demonstrators around the country have been injured and killed by vehicle rammings, but there’s been precious little justice. And new laws could make accountability even scarcer.
A grisly blueprint of terror
Charlottesville car attack four years ago foreshadowed a summer of violence in 2020.
Putting the law on the driver’s side
In Iowa and elsewhere, Republicans push bills granting some legal immunity to motorists who hit protesters.
An analysis by The Boston Globe found at least 139 instances of what researchers call vehicle rammings between the date of Floyd’s death and Sept 30, 2021. At least 100 protesters were injured and three were killed when cars hit them.
The Globe confirmed drivers faced charges in only 65 of those incidents, and less than half of them were charged with felonies. The Globe analysis found only four drivers have been convicted of felonies in vehicle rammings, although many cases are pending.
Like the protests themselves, vehicle rammings happened across the country, in small towns and big cities. Explore the map for more details.
Injuries and deaths
- Reporters: Jess Bidgood, Jim Puzzanghera, and Jazmine Ulloa
- Editors: Elizabeth Goodwin, Jim Puzzanghera, and Mark Morrow
- Photographers: Chris Creese and Scott Morgan
- Photo editor: Kim Chapin
- Director of photography: William Greene
- Video production: Caitlin Healy
- Copy editors: Michael Bailey and Mary Creane
- Digital storytelling, design, and development: John Hancock
- Audience experience and engagement: Christina Prignano
- Quality assurance: Chelsey Johnson and Jackson Pace
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