Truck drives through crowd of protesters on Minneapolis bridge

Officials say driver hospitalized after being dragged from his truck and beaten, but no others were hurt

A fuel semi-truck drove into a George Floyd demonstration of thousands of people on a bridge in Minneapolis apparently without seriously injuring anyone.

A large crowd protesting against the death of Floyd and against police brutality had blocked the Interstate 35 west bridge near downtown Minneapolis on Sunday evening when they spotted the fuel tanker coming around the curve at speed.

The mass of people parted in panic and fled to the sides of the bridge as the truck neared the crowd, coming close to hitting several people. People threw their bicycles into the path of the truck to slow it down.

As the vehicle ground to a halt, the crowd surged back toward the driver and dragged him from his cab and beat him. Protesters smashed the windshield of the truck.

Officials said no protesters appeared injured, but the Minnesota state patrol said in a tweet that the action appeared deliberate. The patrol said the driver was hurt and taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Minnesota governor Tim Walz later said the man was released from the hospital and taken into police custody. Public safety commissioner John Harrington said traffic cameras appear to show the truck was already on the freeway before barricades were put in place to shut it down at 5pm.

A local television station aired footage of the incident, with a shaken anchor narrating, “Oh my gosh, the speed at which that truck approached, and even some of the brave people attempting to slow it down.”

Horrifying traffic cam video of a semi truck going full speed through crowds of protesters on the I-35W bridge in Minneapolis.

— Jason DeRusha (@DeRushaJ) May 31, 2020

Minneapolis, where Floyd was killed on Monday, saw its sixth consecutive day of protests on Sunday. Police and protesters engaged in running battles on Saturday night, after the city had declared an evening curfew and the Minnesota governor had activated the national guard to help enforce it.

As Sunday evening’s curfew approached, there were small scuffles between police and protesters. But few people defied the curfew in the end. The main highways were closed, and many side streets were shut off by makeshift barricades.

The city’s main gathering place remained the street where Floyd was arrested on Monday, now a memorial filled with flowers.

Protesters are demanding the arrest of three other officers who were present when Floyd died on Monday. One officer, Derek Chauvin, has already been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.

On Sunday, Minnesota attorney general Keith Ellison told NBC’s Meet the Press the charges against Chauvin could be increased, and that the three other officers involved were “not out of the woods”.

Associated Press contributed reporting


Chris McGreal in Minneapolis and Lois Beckett in San Francisco

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