MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Thousands of people marching on a closed Minneapolis freeway on Sunday over the death of George Floyd ducked for their lives when a semitrailer rolled into their midst. Authorities said it appeared no one was hurt.
Some witnesses said a handful of people in the incident on Interstate 35W near downtown Minneapolis sought medical attention on their own, but authorities said they could not confirm that.
“Very disturbing actions by a truck driver on I-35W, inciting a crowd of peaceful demonstrators,” the state patrol tweeted. The driver was taken to a hospital for injuries after being pulled from the cab, but was quickly released and was in police custody.
Department of Public Safety spokesman Bruce Gordon said the incident was being investigated as a criminal matter.
The freeway was among many shut down in the Minneapolis area for the second night in a row as officials imposed an 8 p.m. curfew and sought to make it more difficult for protesters to move around. Minneapolis has been the center of protests — some peaceful, some violent — for days over the death of Floyd, a handcuffed black man who died last week after a white Minneapolis officer pressed his knee into his neck as he pleaded for air, and ignored his “I can’t breathe” cries.
Bystander video showed the crowd parting seconds before the semi rolled through, then the tanker truck gradually slowed and demonstrators swarmed the truck. Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington said it appeared from traffic camera footage that the semitrailer was already on the freeway before barricades were set up at 5 p.m.
Officer Derek Chauvin, and the three others who were arresting Floyd. have been fired but only Chauvin has been charged. He faces counts of third-degree murder and manslaughter.