Amid tear gas and rubber bullets deployed at a Black Lives Matter protest in Lincoln on Saturday, May 30, Aniyia-Nyiecia Moss said a car ran over her ankle, leaving her in recovery with medical bills and no way to work for the summer.
Moss, a senior history and ethnic studies double major, said she decided to attend the protest while hanging out with friends that night. She and her friends met up with other protestors at an EZ GO gas station, where the protest remained peaceful, before marching downtown to the courthouse, Moss said.
Moss said in a text the most uplifting part of the evening was when protestors kneeled down facing oncoming traffic and chanted together. She said she was happy she got to experience and see that many people join together for the cause.
“Everything was going fine in the beginning,” she said. “It was actually very inspirational, and, I don’t know, it just brought tears to my eyes with everyone that did come out.”
At the courthouse, police were lined up and dressed in riot gear, according to Moss. She said some protestors threw water bottles at the officers. Eventually, police deployed tear gas and fired rubber bullets into the crowd, according to Moss.
Moss said she and one of her friends searched through the smoke from the tear gas for another friend as she tried to walk away from advancing police when a car hit Moss and drove off.
“While we were searching for her, I was turned around and trying to walk away from the scene as the police were getting closer to the crowd,” she said. “That’s when I ended up getting hit by a car, and I fell down and the car ended up running over my ankle.”
According to a report from the Lincoln Police Department, the driver said she thought she had hit someone other than Moss, and after checking that the unknown person was unharmed, the driver left, not knowing she had also injured Moss.
Moss said a few small bones in her ankle broke as a result, which required surgery and the placement of screws and a plate in her ankle.
“The surgery actually did end up going well with that, so that’s kind of what I’m happy about,” she said.
Moss said her recovery will continue into the school year, and she will not be able to work for the rest of the summer. Because of her medical bills and inability to work, Moss’ friends set up a GoFundMe to raise money to cover her medical costs, according to the GoFundMe description.
The fundraiser raised $23,766 for Moss while it was open, and she said in a text that it helped cover some of her medical costs, like her crutches and boot, and other expenses, like rent and car insurance.
Moss had to reach out to her summer class professors to keep them updated in case she missed certain concepts or units, she said. She also said she has to figure out how she will move around campus in the fall.
“I either use crutches or I have a scooter that gets me around,” she said. “I’m not really a big fan of the crutches, so I usually just use my scooter.”
The driver who hit Moss was cited and released for negligent driving, according to the report from LPD.
With a prolonged recovery ahead of her, Moss said she was disappointed in the citation and release.
“Her being given a ticket does not change the fact that I can no longer walk for however long it takes my ankle to heal, or even enjoy the things that I want to do due to my limited mobility,” Moss said in an email. “I feel as though with her being given a ticket it’s easy for her to just go about her life and not really worry about the incident whereas I’m reminded of that night every single day.”
Even though Moss was injured, she said she was proud to participate in the protest.
“I don’t regret going to the protest because I was doing something I believe in, and I wanted to show support to other Black people within the U.S. and worldwide,” she said. “I might have questioned whether I would have gone if I knew [what would happen] ahead of time, but I don’t regret my participation.”