Video from Minneapolis showed a large tanker truck speeding through a crowd of protesters who had gathered on the I-35W bridge after the expressway had been closed to traffic, sending people running for safety.
The incident was captured on live news broadcasts of the growing protest in the Minnesota Twin Cities after the death of George Floyd while in police custody on Monday. On Sunday evening, thousands gathered for a march on the bridge that crosses the Mississippi River, calling for justice for Floyd's death and for no bail for those who had been arrested through the first several days of protests.
As Twin Cities reporter Mary McGuire reported on Twitter, the bridge and I-35W had been closed for hours before the incident. It is not clear how the truck may have made it beyond barriers to keep traffic off the expressway.
Video captured during the incident showed a crowd of protesters surrounding the truck, forcing it to stop. It appeared that some tried to pull the driver from the cab of the vehicle.
It was not immediately clear if anyone was hurt in the incident, or whether police had made any arrests.The protest had been peaceful earlier in the day, but tensions rose quickly after the incident, CBS News Minnesota reported. Many of those on the bridge at the time described a terrifying and chaotic scene, saying that the truck came without warning.
Protesters remained there afterward, with video showing them chanting, "No justice, no peace!"
The I-35W bridge had been in national news before after a collapse in 2007 that left 13 people dead and 145 people injured.The incident came hours before a curfew was set to go into effect in the Twin Cities. Initially put in place on Friday, the order was not able to quell unrest that had been growing throughout the week after the death of Floyd.
Both local and state leaders have called for calm amid the unrest, and protests during the day on Sunday appeared to be mostly peaceful.
"Thousands of Minnesotans have expressed their grief and frustration in a peaceful manner," Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said in a news release on Friday, via KTTC. "But the unlawful and dangerous actions of others, under the cover of darkness, has caused irreversible pain and damage to our community. This behavior has compromised the safety of bystanders, businesses, lawful demonstrators, and first responders. Now, we come together to restore the peace."