Crowds of protesters were marching on the I-35W Minneapolis bridge a few hours ago, when a liquid container sped towards their direction, with its horn continuously blaring until it came to a stop. In a desperate effort to halt the runaway truck, passers-by threw objects and even their bicycles in front of the truck.
The container did eventually come to a stop, whereby enraged protesters dragged out and beat up the driver before police arrived and took him away. Protesters managed to smash the truck’s windshield before police authorities cordoned off the area.
Shortly after arriving at the scene, police used tear gas and mace to disperse the crowd off the bridge, at the spot where the container truck finally stopped.
A tweet by the Minnesota State Patrol mentioned that the driver, a Caucasian, displayed “disturbing actions”. It was unclear how the liquid container managed to get onto the highway as the authorities had closed it off earlier on to avert possible riots, due to the swelling crowds of people coming out to join the protests.
An estimated 5,000 to 6,000 people were on the bridge when the truck sped through the crowds. A protester told KARE 11 news, “We could hear his horn. He was holding the horn down the entire time.”
According to Minnesota Governor, Tim Walz, the man has been released from hospital and has been taken into police custody.
Protester, Sam Ndely, described the scene saying “It was a terrifying moment. Considering all of the history with 35, and seeing that many people protesting for justice [it] was very peaceful leading up to the incident that happened.”
The protesters were waiting peacefully for Minneapolis Mayor Frey to address the crowd this morning.
Giselle Ugarte, also another protester, said “It was a miracle no one got hit. People started running. I thought it was a false alarm or something. There was fear that we could get caught in a line of fire or that it was a set-up of some kind to trap us all in one place or scare us into going home.”
Officials are fearing this liquid container incident will lead to a fresh round of riots and protests in the Minneapolis area, and are appealing to the people to stay calm. Thankfully there have been no reports of people getting injured in this morning’s incident.
In south Minneapolis, the Lake Street Council has set up a special fund to support small businesses rebuild their stores damaged during the protests, fires and looting during the past few days.
Other local councils and churches are holding joint efforts in an effort to organize clean-up efforts, collect and disperse food and medical supplies to residents in affected areas.
Ongoing protests are being held nationwide on police brutality over the death of George Floyd, an African American, who died last Monday, allegedly from suffocation after a white police officer put his knee to Floyd’s neck for more than 8 minutes.
Videos taken of the George Floyd incident were uploaded and spread on various social media platforms where millions of Americans were traumatized to see and hear Floyd pleading for his life with the police officer.
George Floyd’s last words “I can’t breathe” and “They’re killing me” and subsequent loss of consciousness on the street at the spot where he was held, have left terrible impressions in the minds of millions of Americans who are in shocked disbelief over another incident involving Black Americans in this first world country in this day and age.
During a press conference at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Saturday, President Donald Trump said “The death of George Floyd on the streets of Minneapolis was a grave tragedy. It should never have happened. It has filled Americans all over the country with horror, anger and grief.”
Trump reiterated that his administration will also never condone violence, mayhem and disorder.
“We will stand with the family of George Floyd, with the peaceful protestors, and with every law-abiding citizen who wants decency, civility, safety and security,” Trump added, and he ended off by saying if the protests and unrest continue, the military will step in “and do what has to be done”.
1st June 2020 14:30
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