Black driver charged with running down Black Lives Matter protesters in Seattle pleads not guilty


The driver accused of running down a pair of Black Lives Matter protesters, killing one and critically inuring the other, has pleaded not guilty to charges filed in connection with the deadly crash.

Dawit Kelete, a 27-year-old Seattle man, is facing charges of vehicular homicide and reckless driving for the July 4 incident, according to the KOMO News. He’s accused of driving around a closure and then traveling the wrong way onto I-5 before striking two people around 1:40 a.m.

Summer Taylor, a 24-year-old veterinary clinic worker, suffered critical injuries and died Saturday night. The second victim, 32-year-old Diaz Love from Portland, was seriously injured in the collision and remained hospitalized on Thursday.

Earlier this month, Love released a statement from Harborview Medical Center, saying they were in “stable, satisfactory condition ”

Both Love and Taylor were on the freeway the night of the collision to protest police brutality with other Black Lives Matter demonstrators.

Since the Memorial Day death of George Floyd, the city of Seattle has been rocked with protests calling for justice and systemic change within law enforcement. The 46-year-old died while in police custody after an officer knelt down on his neck until he became unresponsive.

Video of the incident has similarly sparked protests against police brutality nationwide.

In a statement released by Kelete’s attorney, the suspect’s family apologized to the victims’ loved ones and acknowledged the devastation that comes with losing a child.

“No words can express or make up for the suffering that Diaz Love, Summer Taylor’s family, and their loved ones and friends are enduring at this moment,” the statement, obtained by King 5 reads.

We recognize the pain is profound, raw and unbearable. It is always gut wrenching to lose one’s child at a young age, but it is more hurtful under these circumstances. To Summer Taylor’s parents, family and friends, we sincerely say we are very sorry for the agony you are going through and pray that Summer is in a peaceful state. RIP Summer. To Diaz Love we are hoping and praying for a speedy and full recovery,”

A motive in the case has not yet been released. Kelete’s bond on Wednesday was set at $1.2 million.

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