Driver arrested after vehicle strikes two protesters in Elizabeth City, NC cops say

A Greenville woman could face hate crime charges after she struck two Black women with her vehicle as they were protesting the April killing of Andrew Brown Jr. by sheriff’s deputies, according to Elizabeth City Police.

The two pedestrians were treated for “non life-threatening injuries” at an area hospital and later released, police said.

Charges against 41-year-old Lisa Michelle O’Quinn, who is white, include “assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill by the use of a motor vehicle,” careless and reckless driving and unsafe movement, police said. She remained in jail Tuesday under $40,000 bond.

The department said it is investigating “potential aggravating factors” that could result in hate crime charges being filed.

O’Quinn is accused of striking the two pedestrians with her vehicle around 6:45 p.m. Monday, near the intersection of Ehringhaus and Griffin streets in Elizabeth City. The two women — identified as Michelle Fleming Morris, 42, and Valerie Lindsey, 42, both of Elizabeth City — were “peacefully protesting and exercising their constitutional rights,” police said.

The two were taking part in an ongoing series of demonstrations in Elizabeth City related to the April 21 shooting of Andrew Brown Jr., a 42-year-old Black man, by deputies with the Pasquotank County Sheriff’s Office. The deputies were in the process of serving “search and arrest warrants based on a drug investigation,” McClatchy News reported.

Brown’s death has drawn international attention and comparisons to the police killing of George Floyd last year in Minneapolis.

Pasquotank County District Attorney Andrew Womble announced May 18 that Brown’s death “was justified” and criminal charges will not be filed against the deputies involved.