Casual readers taking in the first few paragraphs of the story of a vehicle attacking protesters in Southern California would already think they know the kind of person the perpetrator is:
“A vehicle struck at least two people in Yorba Linda on Saturday during a Black Lives Matter protest and counter-protest, marking the second incident in three days involving vehicles careening through protesting crowds in the Southland,” KCBS-TV in Los Angeles reported.
“The BLM march was going along Imperial Highway with the counter-protesters holding pro-President Donald Trump signs on the other side, and about 200 officers were monitoring the demonstrations.”
For most readers, the impression is clear: Another racist ran a vehicle through the Black Lives Matter protesters. This is just sick, they might think, absolutely sick — and it’s got to be the pro-Trump fringe. However, the more perceptive might notice something strange about the KCBS coverage: The station is a bit cagey about who committed this act and what the motive was.
If this was a snarling mask-hater in a MAGA hat and a Ram pickup trying to hit antiracist demonstrators, that’s usually mentioned straight off the bat. (Particularly the MAGA hat, which is the definitive sign of any political villain.) Instead, silence.
Readers who go down a little further would learn that just after 3 p.m., a woman injured two people when her vehicle ran through the crowd. The report doesn’t say which crowd.
“A male adult suffered two broken legs and one female adult suffered moderate injuries,” Orange County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Dennis Breckner told reporters, according to KCBS.
The car was caught on video and officials eventually surrounded the vehicle of 40-year-old Tatiana Turner of Long Beach, who was taken into custody, the report stated. Again, no indication of motive.
The article touches on other protesters being arrested at the event on Saturday and how Turner was booked into jail on charges of attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon.
In paragraph nine — nine! — it finally mentions that Turner was a member of “Caravan 4 Justice.” There’s your first hint about the political leanings of the suspected assailant.
A car just drove through a crowd. The crowd then chased after the white sedan. This person was hurt. pic.twitter.com/0iAhWkcRnu
— Brian Rokos (@Brian_Rokos) September 26, 2020
What is “Caravan 4 Justice?” I’m glad you asked, because KCBS clearly thought this wasn’t worth exploring. The Long Beach Press-Telegram barely touched on it, either, in its write-up of the event, simply saying Turner was a supporter and that the group “campaigns against police violence.”
ABC News mentioned the group in the first paragraph of its coverage, but there was little exploration of what the group did.
ABC was a bit more explicit about what had happened, noting that Turner allegedly “drove through a group of protesters, many waving Trump flags, outside the Yorba Linda Public Library at about 3 p.m. local time. Two people, a man and a woman, were hit by the car, with both suffering ‘major injuries.’ Both are expected to survive, officials said.”
Turner’s social media is an unsettling look at an individual wholly envenomed by the less savory aspects of the current protest movement.
Turner, whose Facebook profile was under the name “Tia Turner,” wasn’t just involved with the Caravan 4 Justice group; as of Sunday afternoon, she was still an admin on its Facebook page.
Other media reports about Caravan 4 Justice identify her as a “protest organizer.”
The group hosts socially distanced protests using cars — an issue when those cars are turned into weapons.
Saturday’s protest — which really seems like a counter-counter-protest aimed at fighting the conservatives and Trump supporters in attendance — was widely advertised on Caravan 4 Justice Instagram page with the caption:
“Today is the main event! Help us combat racism!! These racist are on full alert. Please do the same. Please be careful!!”
As it turns out, it should have been the Caravan 4 Justice opponents who were on alert.
Turner’s individual posts were also eerily telling. Here’s a livestream from Taylor in June, which didn’t exactly evince a rational person:
WARNING: The following video contains graphic language that some viewers will find offensive.
“What’s being put in handcuffs and being detained for a little while and getting a ticket over saving the lives of my future nieces and nephews?” Turner said, about the 2:45 mark in the video.
After invoking Rosa Parks, she said that “everybody wants to talk about Malcolm X — what Malcolm X did with his peacefulness … people don’t understand what it takes to go against the grain.” I suppose if your idea of peaceful protest is Malcolm X, there are much deeper issues at play.
Turner’s Facebook profile is filled with pictures of her with a megaphone leading protests. One particularly graphic post showed an image of a women who had been hit in the head with some projectile. Turner described the incident as a “protest,” but didn’t include information about where or when the photo was taken.
She wrote “I can only pray to go out of martyr like this.”
An extremist with an expressed wish for martyrdom would be a national story if Turner had the MAGA hat, the truck and the conservative agenda. In fact, much of the coverage of the incident and Tatiana Turner’s subsequent arrest focused on another incident during a protest in Hollywood; this one involved a truck, so of course it merited more reportage. (In fact, KCBS’ headline was. “Vehicle Hits Protesters Again: 2 Hospitalized After Driver Speeds Through Crowd In Yorba Linda.”)
This isn’t a well individual. Drape her in the American flag, she’d become the symbol of bigotry, fear and rage overnight. She’d be an adult Nick Sandmann — and this time, she’d allegedly committed a serious crime. In this case, readers have to wait until the ninth paragraph of the KCBS story to find out the group she was active in — and the fact that it wasn’t, by any stretch of the imagination, conservative. I don’t think you need much imagination to figure out why this was.
Tatiana Turner will dissipate into the background with all due rapidity. There’s no lesson about How Divided We Are Right Now to be grokked from her alleged crime, even though she should, by rights, be the symbol of the kind of out-of-control rage these protests engender.
Attempted murder, all from a woman determined to become a “martyr.” That’s how far political divisiveness on the left has allegedly gone. And the mainstream media is just going to ignore it.
CORRECTION, Sept. 29, 2020: This story’s headline previously identified the group that Tatiana Turner is affiliated with as “Caravan 4 Peace.” In fact, the group’s name is “Caravan 4 Justice,” and the headline has been updated to note as much. We apologize for the error.
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