PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) ─ For the second night in a row, dozens of protesters marched through the streets of Providence to demand justice for a man who was critically injured in an officer-involved moped crash over the weekend.
Jhamal Gonsalves, 24, was rushed to the hospital Sunday night immediately following the crash, which occurred as officers were attempting to reel in hundreds of off-road vehicles that took to the city streets.
Prior to the crash, it appears the officer, identified by police as Kyle Endres, was following Gonsalves. Cell phone video from a witness shows Gonsalves take an abrupt right turn before losing control of his moped and slamming into a building.
Providence Public Safety Commission Steven Paré released two new videos leading up to the crash Wednesday, neither of which show whether Gonsalves was hit by Endres’ cruiser. His family tells 12 News he remains hospitalized and in a coma.
The protest Wednesday started peacefully with a gathering at Sackett Street Park. Protesters ultimately marched through the city to the crash site, which is located on Elmwood Avenue near the Providence/Cranston line.
Following a night of violence in the capital city that ended with 21 arrests, officers in riot gear responded to the area and lined the street to prevent protesters from advancing into Cranston.
Protesters were seen damaging police cruisers and yelling obscenities at the officers. Several police cruisers were damaged in the chaos, some with smashed windows and others with popped tires.
Police in Providence and Cranston told 12 News up to eight people were taken into custody, mostly on disorderly conduct charges.
Providence police say one of their officers had minor injuries after having an object thrown at him.
After not heeding officers’ warnings to back up, officers began taking protesters into custody. A 12 News crew on scene also saw officers spray the crowd with what appeared to be some type of chemical aerosol.
Gonsalves’ family previously told 12 News while they are thankful for the support from the community, they do not condone the violence occurring in the wake of the crash, nor do they want it to be associated with his name.
They’re expected to meet with Attorney General Peter Neronha Thursday afternoon, where a spokesperson for his office said they will learn “what information has been gathered so far and where the investigation is expected to lead.”
Shiina LoSciuto, Rob Nesbitt, Ryan Welch, Corey Welch and Alexandra Leslie contributed to this report.