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Sylva Police Investigating Truck Driving At Impeachment Supporters

Courtesy of Nilofer Couture/Indivisible-Common Ground WNC
This is a screen grab of a video that Indivisible-Common Ground WNC-Organizing for Action members sent in of the incident. Sylva Police are investigating.

  Police in Jackson County are investigating a video that shows a counter protester slowly driving his truck into a crowd of people marching to support the impeachment of President Donald Trump earlier this week. 

About 100 people turned out in Sylva Tuesday evening to march in favor of impeachment. They were standing outside of the Jackson County Democratic headquarters when a truck began honking to pull into the parking lot - directly through the crowd. 

“Hey hey, ho ho, Donald Trump has got to go,” chanted protesters. You can hear the truck honking. 

That was a video of the truck sent to BPR by Nilofer Couture of Indivisible-Commonground WNC which organized the march. Couture explains that the man drove directly through the crowd to park, scaring the protesters. 

“On his truck he had a big American flag on one side and on the other side, he had a big Trump flag where Trump’s head was on sort of the body of Rambo you know,” says Couture, who is now a member of the Forest Hills village council.

“Did you think that you all were in danger?,” asks BPR. 

“Yes, I think people were because of the way that he just drove into the crowd. No normal person would have just driven into the crowd like that,” says Couture. 

The man waved his Trump flag. After a brief confrontation with protesters and the Sylva police, he left. 

“Nah nah nah nah. Hey hey hey. Goodbye,” sang protesters as the man headed to his truck. 

Sylva Police Chief Chris Hatton says he’s investigating personally.  

“We’re taking this very seriously and if there is a crime that was committed then we will make sure that we do our jobs,” says Hatton. He adds that he wants to see the video from all angles.  

Anyone who was at the event can submit statements and videos to the Sylva Police Department. 

“He has a right to counter protest but what we need to look at is the tactic that was taken and take what actually happened,” says Hatton. “And then we need to put that up against what North Carolina General Statutes say.” 

Hatton adds his department will also consult the district attorney’s office before deciding whether to press charges.


Lilly Knoepp is Senior Regional Reporter for Blue Ridge Public Radio. She has served as BPR’s first fulltime reporter covering Western North Carolina since 2018. She is from Franklin, NC. She returns to WNC after serving as the assistant editor of Women@Forbes and digital producer of the Forbes podcast network. She holds a master’s degree in international journalism from the City University of New York and earned a double major from UNC-Chapel Hill in religious studies and political science.