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March Trial Set For Man Accused Of Injuring Protesters

Man on motorcycle
This photo, provided to WGLT by a demonstrator who witnessed the incident, shows the motorcyclist who allegedly drove into the crowd Sunday night. Authorities say it was Marshall R. Blanchard of Bloomington.

A March 22 jury trial is scheduled for a Bloomington man accused of hate crimes for allegedly riding his motorcycle into a group of protesters during a May protest rally in Bloomington.

Marshall Blanchard, 22, also faces felony aggravated battery and aggravated assault charges related to injuries to two protesters.

The downtown rally was organized after the death of George Floyd, a Minneapolis man killed May 25 when a police officer pressed his knee on his neck for several minutes.

Witnesses told Bloomington police they saw Blanchard driving at a high rate of speed toward the protesters.

Charges against a second man charged in connection with misconduct during a protest were resolved in August.

Andrew Menssen, 32, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor reckless conduct and child endangerment in exchange for a sentence of 156 days in jail. Felony charges accusing him of releasing a smoke device into a crowd gathered at the McLean County Law and Justice Center were dismissed. A 5-year-old girl fell during the incident.

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Edith Brady-Lunny was a correspondent at WGLT, joining the station in 2019. She left the station in 2024.