White man pleads guilty to felony after hitting Black woman with truck during protest in Wisconsin

Brendan J. O'Neil (Source: Dane County Sheriff's Office)
Brendan J. O’Neil (Source: Dane County Sheriff’s Office)

A white man who drove through a group of people during a protest in Madison, Wisconsin in 2020, which injured a Black woman, reportedly pleaded guilty to a felony on Friday.

Brendan O’Neil, 28, told police that people were reaching into his pickup truck and trying to pull him out of the vehicle before he accelerated through a crowd on June 21. He said he drove away when he saw a man in the crowd with a handgun, reported Wisconsin State Journal.

The hit-and-run sparked protests in Madison. Activists believed it was a hate crime against a Black woman, reported WMTV.

In an agreement with prosecutors, O’Neil pleaded guilty to hit-and-run involving injury. It was the only count filed against him. The count was not filed with a hate-crime enhancer.

On Friday, Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne reportedly said “to my knowledge, there was no information which indicated Mr. O’Neil was connected to any white supremacist groups.”

The felony could be erased from O’Neil’s record if he completes a first-offenders program.

The incident left Alize Carter, who was 24 at the time, with abrasions, a fractured hand and reportedly a concussion, according to Wisconsin State Journal.

More about the incident and charges can be found here.

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