Truck barreled into crowd of protesters on I-35W in Minneapolis; no injuries

MINNEAPOLIS -- Police said there were no reports of protesters hurt after a large truck drove into a crowd of protesters on I-35W in Minneapolis Sunday, May 31. The driver was taken into custody.

The truck came flying at a high-rate of speed through the crowd near Washington Avenue just before 6 p.m.

The truck came from the south headed north at a high rate of speed, honking its horn as it swerved through the crowd.

A short time later, police moved in quickly to disperse the crowd that pulled the driver from the cab. Helicopter shots showed law enforcement grabbing one man and shoving him into a squad while dispersing the crowd.

Police said the man's injuries were not believed to be life-threatening.

At the same time, protesters rushed from the area, many fearful for their lives.

It's unclear how the truck got onto the highway. I-35W was closed down, along with other major highways in the Twin Cities, by state authorities at 5 p.m., before the incident. The Department of Public Safety says they are working to determine how the truck got on the road.

The march honoring George Floyd, started just after 4 p.m. Sunday, departed the stadium and headed into downtown toward the Hennepin County Government Center. The group then moved across the Hennepin Avenue Bridge, down University Avenue and onto Interstate 35W.

Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin was arrested Friday in the death of George Floyd, Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington said. Chauvin was later charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.

Chauvin was seen in a video kneeling on George Floyd’s neck as Floyd repeatedly says “I can’t breathe.” The officer continued to press his knee onto Floyd’s neck even after he lost consciousness. None of the other officers at the scene attempted to check on Floyd until after the ambulance arrived, despite bystanders’ pleas.

Floyd later died at the hospital. His death has sparked national outrage.

Chauvin and three other police officers, identified as Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao were fired following the incident.

According to the charges, Lane and Kueng responded to the initial 911 call from Cup Foods about a customer using counterfeit currency. They located Floyd in a nearby vehicle and, after some resistance, removed him from the vehicle and handcuffed him.

Chauvin and Thoa eventually arrived on the scene. The officers made several attempts to get Floyd into the squad car, but he resisted.

The charges say Floyd began saying and repeated that he could not breathe while he was still standing outside the squad car.

Chauvin pulled Floyd out of the squad car and he went down on the ground, still handcuffed. Kueng held his back and Lane held his legs while Chauvin pressed his knee onto Floyd’s neck.

Floyd told the officers “I can’t breathe” multiple times and repeated said “mama” and “please,” but the officers did not move from their positions.

At one point, Lane asks, “Should we roll him on his side?” and Chauvin says no. The body camera video shows Floyd eventually appear to stop breathing or speaking. Kueng checked his pulse and found none, but none of the officers moved until the ambulance arrived a few minutes later.

Chauvin had his knee on Floyd’s neck for a total of eight minutes and 46 seconds, including for two minutes and 43 seconds after Floyd was non-responsive, the charges say.

The full report from the Hennepin County Medical Examiner is pending, but preliminary findings from Floyd’s autopsy revealed he likely died from a combination of underlying health conditions, any potential intoxicants in his system and being restrained by police, according to the charges. There was no physical evidence that he died of asphyxia of strangulation.