Washington, DC – Riots and looting erupted in the nation’s capital on Tuesday night because a DC man crashed his scooter into another vehicle and died after police tried to affect a traffic stop on him.
The incident occurred at about 10:10 p.m. on Oct. 23 after police saw 20-year-old Karon Hylton driving a Revel electric moped down the sidewalk in the 500-block of Kennedy Street, NW, The Washington Post reported.
Hylton was not wearing a helmet, which is illegal, and was also breaking the law by riding the scooter on a sidewalk through the Brightwood Park neighborhood.
Police turned on their lights and tried to stop the scooter but Hylton fled, according to the DCist.
As he raced away from police, Hylton crossed from the sidewalk into the alley and slammed into a vehicle that was traveling down the 700-block of Kennedy Street, NW, The Washington Post reported.
DC police said in a statement that officers performed First Aid at the scene but Hylton died at the hospital, the DCist reported.
DC Metropolitan Police Chief Peter Newsham said officers are not allowed to pursue fleeing vehicles but said the department needed to investigate to determine if police were making a traffic stop or in pursuit when Hylton crashed, The Washington Post reported.
A friend of Hylton’s told the DCist that his friend stopped and talked to the officers pursuing him, the DCist reported.
“I saw Karon stop at the intersection of Fifth Street and also ask them, ‘why are y’all still chasing me?’” Hylton’s friend, Arhki, said. “They chased him. They chased him to death.”
Another friend claimed the officer who tried to stop Hylton had a reputation in the neighborhood and the nickname “Tattoo,” according to the DCist.
“He was one of the main ones to harass us every day,” Marcus G. said. “I got pulled over just because we made eye contact and he know my car.”
The mother of six boys who were friends with Hylton complained about aggressive policing in the neighborhood, the DCist reported.
“These police officers that targeted Karon are what is known as ‘the jump-outs,’” Maureen Brown said. “They drive in unmarked D.C. police vehicles. They antagonize [young Black people] to say something to them so they can get out the car. I’ve seen this. I’ve witnessed it.”
DC police have long used jump-out squads effectively to target areas where illegal drug dealing is prevalent.
Protesters gathered in front of the 4th District police station on Tuesday afternoon to protest, and things quickly grew out of control, The Washington Post reported.
Violent protesters threw rocks and water bottles at police officers who formed a cordon around the police station after rioters smashed the buildings windows.
DC is rioting right now because a man died after crashing his moped into a wall during a police pursuit. He was riding a moped on a sidewalk without a helmet and endangered the lives of pedestrians. pic.twitter.com/9xHE5F6EUi
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) October 27, 2020
— Jackie Bensen (@jackiebensen) October 27, 2020
— Anoncat ☭☂️🏴 ➐ (@anoncatanoncat) October 28, 2020
Hylton’s mother was at the protest and was filmed screaming in officers faces and eventually hurling bottles at officers.
Rioters were shocked and outraged when she was pepper-sprayed along with the rest of the violent protesters.
— Söze (@SS_Capo) October 28, 2020
“You’re defending a building.
I’m defending my son!”
— ChuckModi (@ChuckModi1) October 27, 2020
— Rae (@Rae____k) October 28, 2020
Videos showed some protesters brought children to the riots and pushed them into the middle of the mix.
— Kitty Shackleford (@KittyLists) October 27, 2020
After officers pushed back protesters at the 4th District, rioters headed off down Georgia Avenue to vandalize and loot nearby businesses.
— FJ News Reporter (@FJNewsReporter) October 28, 2020
— Steve Keeley (@KeeleyFox29) October 28, 2020
Community leaders called for accountability from the police department following the incident but appeared not to be concerned about the rioting and looting in the city.
“There’s going to have to be some accountability here,” Janeese Lewis George, who is running for Ward 4’s city council seat, told The Washington Post.