Laramie Police Officer Hits Protester with Vehicle During Protest
A video has been circulating online that allegedly shows a Laramie police vehicle hitting a protester during a demonstration on Wednesday (September 23) in Laramie.
The Casper Star-Tribune reports that the video from the Laramie Human Rights Network shows an LPD officer directing the person out of the street along a path the took the person in front of the police car. As the person started to the curb, the car's lights flashed and the car moved forward striking the officer and the person.
The Laramie Police Department said in a statement that while an arrest was taking place, "several demonstrators were crowding around a police vehicle." As officers were attempting to clear a path for the car to leave, "another demonstrator entered the path of the vehicle and was struck."
The LPD said that the protester "stated he was not injured" and declined medical care. The incident was investigated by The Wyoming Highway Patrol, which is the Department's procedure.
The video posted to social media by the Laramie Human Rights Network.
Video posted to YouTube by the Casper Star-Tribune
Statement from the Laramie Police Department:
**For Immediate Release**
Laramie Police Department
September 24, 2020
On 23 September 2020 the Laramie Police Department was monitoring a demonstration on Grand Avenue. During the demonstration, officers had warned several subjects multiple times to stay out of the street and remain on the sidewalk. Illyanna Saucedo, a 22-year-old Laramie resident had been warned four separate times over an 8-block span to remain out of the street where she was impeding traffic. She was contacted a fifth time, in the street, in the area of the 600 Block of Grand Avenue and she was taken into custody for obstructing traffic, a violation of Laramie City Code.
While that arrest was being affected, several demonstrators were crowding around a police vehicle parked on Grand. Once Ms. Saucedo was safely secured in the patrol vehicle, the officer was attempting to leave that scene. While officers attempted to clear a path for the emergency vehicles to exit, another demonstrator entered the path of the vehicle and was struck. The person who was struck by the police vehicle left the scene but was subsequently identified as Tyler Klatt and was contacted by Laramie officers. He declined any medical care and stated he was not injured. At the request of PD supervisors, Laramie Fire Department personnel also contacted this subject, and he again declined medical care.
The Wyoming Highway Patrol was contacted by Laramie Police Department supervisors to investigate the crash, which is standard procedure for the LPD. That investigation resulted in a citation being issued to another demonstrator, Tyler Klatt, a 22-year-old Laramie resident, for obstructing traffic, a violation of Wyoming State Statutes.
The Laramie Police Department regrets that a member of our community was hit and would remind all demonstrators that police vehicles, when being operated as an emergency vehicle according to Wyoming State Statutes, must be yielded to both by other vehicles and pedestrians. In this instance, the police vehicle was displaying red lights and sirens when the officer was attempting to leave the area of the arrest.
The Laramie Police Department vigorously supports all citizens’ and visitors’ right to lawful and peaceful protest. These rights must be balanced with the safety of all Laramie citizens and visitors. Citizens will not be allowed to use Laramie streets or State Highways to demonstrate any causes, since both Municipal Code and State Statute prohibit pedestrians to impede or block traffic. As staffing and call loads allow, police will continue to enforce these laws during any planned or spontaneous demonstrations.