A California man has died after being hit by a car during a George Floyd protest.
Robert Forbes, who was in his mid-50s, passed away in hospital Saturday – three days after he was struck by the vehicle in Bakersfield.
Police have not arrested the driver of the vehicle, who is white, as they are still investigating the incident.
Forbes’ nephew, Rob Lew, shared a Facebook status Saturday morning, saying he was confident that the man deliberately plowed into his uncle.
KGET reports that Lew’s claim has been ‘disputed by witnesses and police’.
On Thursday, the Bakersfield Police Department released a statement which read: ‘Several community members have posted on social media regarding their beliefs and statements that the pedestrian in this incident was struck intentionally. The investigations is still open and officers are still seeking additional witnesses and video evidence.’
The Major Collision Investigation Team has reportedly been charged with looking into the incident.
Graphic video filmed shortly after the accident at 10.20pm Wednesday, shows Forbes lying on the road bleeding as bystanders rush to his aid.
A separate video shows a white man who social media users identify as the driver of the vehicle being protected by two officers from a crowds of angry protesters as emotions spill over.
The driver was patted down by police after they arrive on the scene, before he took out a cigarette packet out of his pocket.
According to Bakersfield Now: ‘Video evidence and physical evidence in the roadway show that the driver was not traveling above the speed limit at the time of the collision.’
The publication added: ‘Officers evaluated the driver for influence of drugs or alcohol and found neither.’
However, Forbes’ nephew shared an emotional Facebook post Saturday, stating: ‘According to different accounts from witnesses at the scene this was NO accident!!! But an attentional [intentional] hate crime!!! As the vehicle headlines were off and accelerated before intentionally colliding into Robert Forbes.
He continued: ‘Suspects attempted to flee as other protesters chased and followed the car!When Bakersfield Police Department arrived on scene they allowed the suspects to have a cigarette while shielding them from protesters! They also only took suspects statements and REFUSED TO TAKE WITNESSES ACCOUNTS!!!!!!
‘I am asking you all to stand with my family and myself as we demand Justice for my uncle Robert Forbes.’
At least 13 people have been killed while being caught up in George Floyd protests which have taken place across the country over the past 12 days.
Other victims include David Dorn, 77, who was shot dead while protecting his friend’s pawn shop in St. Louis as protests were hijacked by looters and rioters.
Meanwhile, Javar Harrell, 21, was shot while sitting in his car amid protests in Detroit last Friday, and David McAtee, 53, was killed by police in Louisville on Monday.
Forbes’ nephew shared an emotional Facebook post Saturday, stating: ‘According to different accounts from witnesses at the scene this was NO accident!!! But an attentional [intentional] hate crime!!! As the vehicle headlines were off and accelerated before intentionally colliding into Robert Forbes’
Minneapolis man George Floyd was arrested on Memorial Day for allegedly trying to make a purchase with a counterfeit $20 bill.
He was arrested by officer Derek Chauvin who knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.
During that time Floyd repeatedly yelled out that he was struggling for breath, before he lost consciousness and died.
Chauvin has now been charged with second degree murder. Three other officers who watched the incident have now also been charged with aiding and abetting second degree murder.
The incident has sparked widespread protests that have continued for nearly two weeks.