News

Peaceful protester and father of five suffers broken neck and back injuries during fall

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Photo courtesy of Randy Knight


Published 06/06/2020 | Reading Time 2 min 51 sec 

Publisher’s Note: A Go Fund Me has been set up for Mr. Thomas Ryan Knight and is embedded in the link as well as at the bottom of this article. 

By BWSTimes Staff 

TULSA, Okla. — Racism has a ripple effect in our society, whether we choose to ignore it or challenge it. 

And 32-year-old Thomas “Ryan” Knight, like millions of Americans in the wake of national demonstrations, decided courageously to stand and speak against racial oppression and police brutality at Sunday’s Black Lives Matter Rally. 

The father of five beautiful kids fell from the I-244 bridge amid the chaos that ensued when a vehicle carrying a horse trailer impatiently mowed down several peaceful protesters. 

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At the crowd’s attempt to scattered, as to not be hit by the motorist, Knight was pushed from the overpass and landed below. The fall broke several vertebrae in his neck and lower back. 

Knight’s older brother, Randy Knight told a Tulsa World reporter that “There’s no indication of spinal damage at this time, so they’re very hopeful that once his body starts healing and the swelling goes down, the pressure relief from that will give him function,” adding “We’re native, and there’s a long history of injustices against our people (Indigenous Americans), as well. Any way we can take a stand to promote equality and justice for everyone, we will absolutely always be there.”

Randy Knight gave his account of what took place: “We were by the on-ramp. That crowd dispersed so fast and went straight to the (shoulder). That’s where I got pushed up against it, and I even thought to myself, ‘I hope somebody doesn’t push me off this.'” 

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But his younger brother Ryan did, falling uncontrollably more than 30 feet to the road below. 

After the crowd began to calm, Randy realized his brother was missing. Tearra King, Ryan’s girlfriend, called his phone after losing contact with him after the chaos. A stranger answered and informed her of what occurred. That Ryan had fallen from the bridge.

The family rushed down the ramp. 

Randy said when he got to his brother, Ryan’s first words were: “I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I’m suffocating. I can’t breathe.”

The family has set up a Go Fund Me to help with Ryan Knight’s rising medical expenses. And the fund has already raised nearly half of the $30,000 and has been shared over 2,600 times. 

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