A peaceful march against racism and police brutality turned violent in Detroit when a police SUV plowed into protesters who had surrounded the vehicle, sending at least two demonstrators flying off the hood in a chaotic scene caught on video Sunday night.
The cop who was behind the wheel accelerated the car several times as dozens of protesters holding signs and chanting, “No justice, no peace,” appeared to block the vehicle, according to multiple videos shared on social media.
The officer then sped away, striking several protesters and throwing at least two of them on to the pavement as people at the scene screamed in shock.
It was not immediately clear if anyone was seriously injured, but a protester who posted one of the videos on Twitter said “multiple people” went to the hospital. The two men who were thrown off the hood appeared to be unharmed, though one of them was limping after the incident, the Detroit Free Press reported.
One of those men, 24-year-old Jae Bass, told the paper that police were trying to block protesters from moving into Patton Park when the crowd stood in front of the SUV to protect demonstrators.
“In response to that, he just floored it,” Bass said. “He went super fast. Me and a couple of other organizers that were with me, just went flinging off. We went flying off. He ran over a couple people’s arms, feet. He ran over her phone.”
The clash happened around 9.30pm following a largely peaceful march.
A spokeswoman for the Detroit Police Department told news outlets the officer was trying to leave the scene after the vehicle’s rear window was smashed.
The department is investigating the incident.