They died after dancing the Cupid Shuffle on I-5 in the middle of Seattle on a night of protest and energy with friends and loved ones.
Summer Taylor was 24.
The activist and Capitol Hill resident died Saturday as they marched and danced with the nightly Black Femme March for Black Lives Matter. As it had for weeks, the group entered the freeway and brought traffic to a stop to get their message out and make a stand.
The scene moments before a driver plowed into a crowd of peaceful protesters gathered on I-5 in Seattle early this morning: The Cupid Shuffle and a festive atmosphere. RIP Summer Taylor #SummerTaylor #DiazLove #SeattleProtest pic.twitter.com/NyXfRpbFd4
— A-A-RON (@ASeattleStoner) July 5, 2020
Just after 1:30 AM, a driver in a white Jaguar sped toward the crowd, careening into Taylor and another activist, and trying to race away before being arrested after he was stopped by a car in place to protect the protestors.
Taylor died at Harborview later that day. They were remembered before a Sunday night vigil as “drawn to the protests because they believed that Black lives matter and that it was important to do everything in their power to support Black lives and fight for them,” the Seattle Times reports.
“They were always the first one to call people out for being sexist, racist — standing up for queer and trans people, basically anyone who needed to be stood up for, they were the ones there that were so vocal,” another friend told the New York Times.
Taylor worked at Urban Animal where people have been leaving flowers and messages outside the Capitol Hill location of the local chain of pet clinics. The clinic described Taylor’s “infectious joy and laughter” and posted video of them at play in a silly moment at work. In an Urban Animal biography, the clinic said Taylor was taking care of two rescued guinea pigs, Bubbles and Carrot.
RIP Summer Taylor pic.twitter.com/iB1anq94je
— fajitas with cheese, no onion (@ManVsParty) July 6, 2020
Diaz Love, the second protester struck in the deadly incident, continues to recover at Harborview. “I’m alive and stable. In a lot of pain. I cannot believe Summer was murdered. If they thought this murder would make us back down, they are very wrong. Very wrong,” Love writes in a defiant update on Facebook. “My FB is filled with death threats, that and only being able to use one hand has me going slow. I deeply appreciate and feel all the love y’all are sending me.”
Friends and supporters have so far raised more than $60,000 to help the 32-year-old with medical expenses, living expenses, and recovery costs.
The 27-year-old driver was found to be sober as the Washington State Patrol took him into custody.
Monday afternoon, Dawit Kelete’s bail was set at $1.2 million and he remains jailed awaiting charges.
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