PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) ─ The family of the man who was critically injured in an officer-involved moped crash last weekend is making one thing very clear: they don’t support any of the violence occurring in the capital city.
The family of Jhamal Gonsalves, 24, met with Attorney General Peter Neronha Thursday afternoon for an update on the investigation into the crash. His family tells 12 News he remains hospitalized in a coma.
Attorney Jude Kerrison, who’s representing the Gonsalves family, said right now, they’re primarily focused on Jhamal’s condition.
“What we are hoping for and praying for most of all is that Jhamal makes a full recovery,” Kerrison said. “He is an incredible young man with his whole life in front of him and a family that loves and misses him.”
Jhamal was rushed to the hospital in critical condition Sunday night after crashing his moped on Elmwood Avenue near Bissell Street.
Prior to the crash, it appears a Providence Police cruiser, which the department said was being driven by officer Kyle Endres, was following Jhamal down Elmwood Avenue.
Cell phone video from a witness shows Jhamal take an abrupt right turn onto Bissell Street before losing control of his moped and slamming into a building.
It’s still unclear at this time whether Endres actually hit Jhamal with his cruiser.
Providence Public Safety Commission Steven Paré released two new videos leading up to the crash Wednesday, neither of which show whether Jhamal was hit by Endres’ cruiser.
At this point, Kerrison said the investigation is still in the “fact-finding stage” and is asking anyone who saw the crash or has any footage of the incident to come forward.
“If you saw it, if you have video, if you have pictures, anything, we want to hear from you,” he said.
He encouraged anyone who doesn’t feel comfortable submitting witness statements or video of the crash to the police directly to send them directly to him. Contact Attorney Jude Kerrison »
“If anyone doesn’t want to give information to police they should give it to us,” he said. “We will gladly take a look at it and make sure it is taken into consideration.”
The incident has sparked outrage throughout the city. Cell phone video of the crash continues to make its rounds on social media, and two initially peaceful protests that occurred earlier this week quickly devolved into chaos once the sun went down.
- Tuesday night: Rally for victim of officer-involved moped crash devolves into chaos; 21 arrested »
- Wednesday night: Several arrests made in 2nd night of protests demanding justice for moped crash victim »
Jhamal’s family attended Tuesday’s rally, but left long before protesters became hostile toward police.
“They don’t condone the violence and destruction,” Kerrison said of Jhamal’s family. “If you do not see a family member of Jhamal’s at any of these demonstrations, then it is not endorsed by the family.”
“If they are there and they leave, their association with that event is then over,” he continued. “They want to keep the focus on Jhamal as much as possible, and the investigation ─ they do not want to detract from it in any way.”