A tanker truck sped toward thousands of protesters in Minneapolis on Sunday in a shocking moment as demonstrations over the death of George Floyd continue to spread around the nation.
Local news outlets were broadcasting live from the protest on Minneapolis’ I-35 highway, the sixth day of demonstrations following the man’s death in police custody. In the footage, large crowds gathered on a bridge suddenly begin to part before a truck is seen barreling toward the group. It speeds through the crowd before coming to a stop on the highway.
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported demonstrators then swarmed the vehicle and apparently pulled the driver from the cab of the truck.
The footage below may be disturbing to some readers.
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety said it was disturbed by the footage and said the driver, who has not been identified, was arrested and taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The agency said it didn’t appear any protesters had been hit by the truck.
“Very disturbing actions by a truck driver on I-35W, inciting a crowd of peaceful demonstrators,” the department wrote on Twitter. “The truck driver was injured & taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries. He is under arrest. It doesn’t appear any protesters were hit by the truck.”
Officials said they were investigating how the truck was able to get on the highway, which is currently closed. It’s unclear what the driver’s motives were, although The New York Times notes local police said the person was “inciting” peaceful protestors.
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz said the footage was “horrifying” in a news briefing later Sunday, saying it was amazing many people hadn’t died during the incident.
“I don’t know the motives of the driver at this time, but at this point in time, to not have tragedy and many deaths is simply an amazing thing,” Walz said.
Authorities later urged demonstrators to clear the bridge, warning police may use tear gas to disperse those gathered if they don’t go home before curfews set in.
The protest was the city’s latest demonstration following Floyd’s death while in police custody. The man died after Officer Derek Chauvin arrested him and pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes. A shocking video of Floyd’s arrest rocked the nation, leading to protests in cities around the U.S. and calls for dramatic police reform.
Chauvin has been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, and three other Minneapolis Police Department officers were fired for their roles in the incident.