Footage out of Minnesota shows a tanker truck driving into a quickly parting crowd of thousands of people peacefully protesting the death of George Floyd. Officials say it appears no protesters were hit.
The video shows the truck moving fast along Interstate 35W Bridge in Minneapolis, the crowd scattering, before coming to a stop.
Dozens of protesters then approach the truck.
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety denounced the truck driver’s actions, saying he incited peaceful protesters and has been arrested.
“Very disturbing actions by a truck driver on I-35W, inciting a crowd of peaceful demonstrators,” the department tweeted Sunday night.
The truck driver was taken to hospital for non-life threatening injuries and is under arrest.
“It doesn’t appear any protesters were hit by the truck,” the department said in its public posts on Twitter.
Officials are trying to figure out how the truck managed to get on the highway in the first place. According to CBS News, the highway had shut down to vehicles just 40 minutes earlier.
Harrington told both CBS News and Fox9 News that the truck was already on the highway as officers moved to shut it down.
“It was one of the most dangerous things I’ve ever seen,” public safety commissioner John Harrington told CBS News.
According to Harrington, there were 5,000 to 6,000 people on the highway at the time.
Officials are investigating it as a criminal matter.
“The Minnesota State Patrol and Bureau of Criminal Apprehension are jointly investigating what happened with the semi that drove into demonstrators tonight on I-35W. The incident is being investigated as a criminal matter. We will share more when we have it,” Minnesota Department of Public Safety said in a tweet.
One Twitter user pointed out that protesters were “taking a knee” when the truck driver drove onto the highway at fast speed.
Photographs by Reuters show people holding back fellow protesters from the driver, and handing over the driver to police.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz told reporters the incident “just underscores the volatile situation we have out there,” adding he didn’t know the driver’s motives.
According to Reuters, footage showed the truck had a logo for an Ohio transport company called Kenan Advantage Group.
The company told Reuters that it was informed of an incident involving one of its independent contractors in Minneapolis and it would be co-operating with investigating authorities.
Floyd’s death last Monday during an arrest where a white police officer pinned a knee into his neck was captured on camera and has sparked days of ongoing protests against police brutality in the U.S.
The officer, Derek Chauvin, was arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter on Friday.
Protests are taking place across cities including Minneapolis, where the 46-year-old Black man died, Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York City and several others.
Curfews were imposed in major cities around the U.S., including Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle. About 5,000 National Guard soldiers and airmen were activated in 15 states and Washington, D.C., according to The Associated Press.
On Saturday night, the New York Police Department was denounced after videos showed two NYPD vehicles drive into a crowd of dozens of protesters.
While Mayor Bill de Blasio defended the officers, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez condemned the incident as well as his reaction.
“Running SUVs in crowds of people should never, ever be normalized,” she tweeted.
— With files by Reuters