Woman accused of hitting Elizabeth City protesters with car appears in court

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Posted at 11:39 AM, May 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-27 20:50:11-04

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. - The woman accused of hitting two protesters with her car Monday night made her first court appearance on Thursday morning.

Lisa O'Quinn faces two felony charges of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill. During the brief procedural hearing, O'Quinn acknowledged she understands the charges against her and asked for a court-appointed lawyer. The judge set a probable cause hearing date on July 12.

Outside of the courthouse, O'Quinn didn't answer any questions about what happened and remained silent.

Protesters gathered outside of the courthouse for the hearing. O'Quinn was escorted by deputies out of the courthouse into the Public Safety Building following the hearing. Then, she was escorted to her car as the protesters peacefully confronted her.

"We have to be here today to ensure that we get justice and to make sure that we keep this transparent," said Keith Rivers from the Pasquotank County branch of the NAACP.

According to court documents, police say O'Quinn drove her car towards Michelle Fleming Morris and Val Lindsey during Monday’s peaceful protest, hitting and injuring both women.

News 3 spoke with both women on Tuesday.

“The young lady was sitting in the car. She yelled and she was like, ‘Well, if it wasn’t for the police, you all guys wouldn’t be safe anyways. The murder was justified.’ We told her, ‘Well, you’re still not getting through here,'” Morris said. “She picked up her keys out of the console, started the car and commenced to drive forward.”

“It was happening so quick, I don’t even remember what was going through my mind,” Morris added.

“She needs to be held accountable for her actions,” Lindsey said. “She’s disrespectful. It should be a hate crime.”

The NAACP is planning to travel to Raleigh and Washington, D.C., next week to call for pattern or practice investigations into the Pasquotank County Sheriff's Office and District Attorney's Office.