AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – Two women who showed support for protestors marching for Elijah McClain on Interstate 225 in July say they’re disappointed in the decision announced Wednesday by the district attorney not to pursue charges against a driver who drove a Jeep through the crowd. They say his actions were reckless, but DA George Brauchler explained there wasn’t enough evidence to show intent to harm other people.
“That’s the only reason, I am a live today and my sister is alive today,” one woman told CBS4.
They were part of the “Wall of Moms” protecting the protestors but they say the blue Jeep came within 20 feet of them and it would have hit them if a white truck had not crashed with the Jeep. The two sisters say other eyewitnesses can confirm the details of their account but they do not have video of that moment.
“The driver of the Jeep was driving directly at us,” the other woman said.
Brauchler, the 18th Judicial District Attorney, explained his decision at a news conference on Wednesday morning. The protests on July 25 blocked I-225, which they did not have a permit for, he said. While discussing the events that day he also addressed actions of the protestors, the Jeep, and other vehicles involved.
“I don’t have that evidence here,” he said. “There is nothing that we’ve heard is in terms of objective statements there’s nothing I’ve seen in terms of pictures, video, conduct before, conduct after, that tells me that this was a person who was intent on trying to kill another person or persons, I just don’t see it.”
But these women say the statements provided by people at the scene should have been enough for the DA to press charges not on the driver’s intent, but his actions. They call his driving reckless and say he could have seriously injured many of the people there that day.
“That doesn’t mean that gave the Jeep the right to barrel toward human beings,” the first woman said.
When other cars approached the crowd, they say the drivers were notified by people on the ground that it was closed off and to turn around. They told the same to the driver of the Jeep. The driver slowed down only after crashing with the truck and they believe he was only in danger when the accident happened and people started moving toward him including one man shooting at the Jeep.
“The Jeep driver was driving directly at us, I was in the middle of the road. The only reason why we’re here today is because that truck was able to slow him down with that collision,” the second woman said.
They believe investigators are ignoring evidence that doesn’t support the Jeep driver and they feel when they were questioned by police, the focus was already moving toward a conclusion that favored him. But Brauchler explained that the evidence he found would not have led to a conviction in court.
“This isn’t a winner in front of a jury, I’ve only been doing this 26 years,” he said. “This is not something I could prove beyond a reasonable doubt.”
The sisters say they plan to always record video whenever in a situation like this in the future but believe the lack of charges in this case only proves what people were gathering on the highway to fight for in the first place.
“All lives don’t matter equally, at least the protestors on 225, their lives don’t’ matter,” the second woman said.