The Detroit Police Department is facing backlash after an officer plowed through a group of protesters.
The incident occurred on Sunday, June 28, 2020, near Patton Park in Detroit, according to the Detroit Free Press.
After beginning in the afternoon, the protest against racial injustice was initially peaceful until the sun set and an officer moved his SUV into the crowd. Protesters surrounded the vehicle, and police claim that some attempted to block the SUV’s path.
Cellphone video captured the moment when the cop hit the gas and the SUV accelerated, plowing into the crowd of protestors. Several protesters were on the hood of the SUV when it drove forward and a few were hit by the vehicle. Others screamed and ran in fear.
About 10 people were treated by paramedics at the scene.
The video of the incident has since gone viral.
In a statement, Police Chief James Craig said that the officers involved “did the right thing” because “in their mind, they believed they could be shot at.”
The police department has yet to reveal the names of the officers who were involved, but Craig said that an investigation is under way.
View footage of the incident below:
Tonight Detroit police drove into a group of protesters, then, when they were stopped in the middle of the group, they hit the gas.
— Joshua Potash (@JoshuaPotash) June 29, 2020