advocacy and activism

North Carolina’s Lisa O’Quinn hit Michelle Morris, Valerie Lindsey, Joshua Grooten with white Nissan Sentra?

Lisa Michelle O'Quinn (©Albemarie District Jail)
Lisa Michelle O’Quinn (©Albemarie District Jail)

Lisa Michelle O’Quinn, 41, of Greenville, Pitt County, North Carolina, United States has been arrested by the Elizabeth City Police Department. The white motorist was charged with one count of careless and reckless driving, one count of unsafe movement and two felony counts of assault with a deadly weapon with the intent to kill.

On April 20, 2021, white cop Derek Chauvin, 45, of Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Minnesota, USA was found guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of African-American man George Floyd, 46, on May 25, 2020. On April 21, 2021, African-American man Andrew Brown, Jr., 42, of Elizabeth City, Pasquotank County, North Carolina was fatally shot in Elizabeth City by Pasquotank County sheriff’s deputies.

On May 24, 2021, a group of protesters held a peaceful demonstration at the intersection of Ehringhaus Street and Griffin Street in Elizabeth City to call for transparency in the fatal shooting of Brown. At around 6:45 p.m., O’Quinn allegedly hit two of the protesters with her white Nissan Sentra sedan.

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The victims are African-American Elizabeth City residents Michelle Fleming Morris, 42, and Valerie Lindsey, 42. They have been released from Sentara Albemarle Medical Center in Elizabeth City after being treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

Before hitting Morris and Lindsey, O’Quinn uttered racial slurs including the n-word, Lindsey told The Daily Beast. Morris’s husband Deshawn Morris, 41, told the publication, “I really feel like we were targeted.”

After hitting Lindsey and Michelle, O’Quinn also allegedly hit a white man named Joshua Grooten, 27, of Elizabeth City with her white sedan a short distance from the peaceful protest. O’Quinn’s mother was in the car during the incident.

“I witnessed one protester get hit pretty violently,” Grooten told WRAL. “That’s when I tried to move in to stop the vehicle from hitting more protesters. She hit my bike (and) hit my right leg.”

Later that night, O’Quinn was arrested and a magistrate set her secured bond at $40,000. On May 25, 2021, she was transported to the Albemarie District Jail in Elizabeth City at 12:15 a.m. and was released after posting bond at 1:59 a.m.

O’Quinn’s initial court appearance will be on May 27, 2021. In a statement obtained by ABC News, the Elizabeth City Police Department said it is currently investigating the case and it will be presenting facts and findings in the case “to include potential aggravating factors for criminal enhancements for potential sentencing purposes of a hate crime involving this event.”

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