Providence police body cam footage shows aftermath of officer-involved moped crash

Providence

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The Providence Police Department publicly released five body cam videos from last week’s officer-involved crash that left a 24-year-old critically injured.

Jhamal Gonsalves, 24, remains hospitalized and in a coma, according to his father, Mark Gonsalves.

The family was shown the body camera footage over the weekend, the family’s attorney Jude Kerrison said.

“You can understand the footage was upsetting and extremely difficult for the family,” Kerrison said during a briefing Monday afternoon. “For anyone to see a loved one in that condition would be traumatic.”

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The first 30 seconds of each body cam video does not have audio. Providence Public Safety Commissioner Steven Paré explained that when a body camera is turned on, the audio begins recording immediately, but the 30 seconds of video prior to that is also captured with no audio.

Officials said one of the videos shows the viewpoint of Officer Kyle Endres. He can be seen driving down Elmwood Avenue then turning the wheel quickly in an attempt to regain control of his cruiser.

At that point, Endres exits the vehicle and rushes over to Jhamal. Endres is then seen pulling Jhamal out from underneath a stop sign, which he had knocked down with his cruiser.

Paré said after seeing that moment unfold in the video, he immediately became concerned.

“There’s a lot of speculation, and the officer will have to respond to what his thought was,” he said.

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In another video, officers can be heard discussing whether to remove Jhamal’s helmet, since he was suffering from a head injury.

“Thankfully someone on scene said not to do that,” Kerrison said. “But the fact that there was even discussion on that is concerning.”

Additional body cam footage shows an officer administering Narcan to Jhamal and was overheard saying, “I don’t know how to use this thing.”

“Due to his head injury, he was unconscious and experiencing some seizing and body posturing which the officers mistook for an overdose,” Kerrison explained.

When asked why Narcan was administered, Paré said it was a decision made by the responding officers. He also noted that the whole department has been trained on the use of the overdose reversal drug.

“It’s relatively new and he may not have been familiar with the injection part of it,” Paré said. “I’m not defending the decision, but there will be an administrative review on the decision to give Narcan.”

Mark said watching the officer administer Narcan to Jhamal was “extremely upsetting” for him. He questioned why the officers would assume his son was overdosing, especially when he was seen minutes prior riding his moped.

“To just assume is kind of questionable,” Mark said. “Why would you just assume, after you see him riding fine, and then all of a sudden, because he’s on the ground, you’re talking about Narcan. It was upsetting for them to bring that up.”

“I was just a little disappointed with some of the professionalism. Some of the empathy,” he added.

Warning: The below videos may be disturbing to some viewers. The story continues below.

Mayor Jorge Elorza said he’s unsure how much additional light the body cam footage sheds on the incident.

“We are investigating every aspect of this,” he said. “What led up to it and then the aftermath. The priority right now is the criminal end of the investigation and once that is complete, we are making a list of every single incident we have to look at at an administrative level and we will be addressing every single one of them.”

Last week, Paré released two videos showing the events leading up to the crash, but said there is still no video evidence that clearly shows Endres hitting Gonsalves with his cruiser.

Endres, a six-year veteran of the force, has since been placed on administrative duty pending the outcome of an investigation, which is being primarily conducted by the Providence Police Department.

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Paré said that within a week there will be a preliminary accident reconstruction report put together by Rhode Island State Police in conjunction with Providence police reconstruction specialists and the Rhode Island Attorney General’s Office.

As the investigation continues, Kerrison is encouraging additional witnesses to come forward and share any footage or information they can provide with him or any of the investigating agencies.

“There’s a lot more that’s going to be coming out,” Kerrison said.

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In the meantime, Mark is asking everyone to keep Jhamal in their thoughts. He said while Jhamal is making progress, he is still in critical condition and has a very long road to recovery ahead of him.

“To us, it’s a beautiful thing seeing him squeeze both of our hands at times. He’s opened some eyes, he’s made some mouth movements. It’s a beautiful thing. It’s a start,” Mark said. “There’s some people saying some negative things, and we hope they take some time to look at the circumstances before they pass judgement.”

Kerrison, on behalf of Jhamal’s family, also urged the public not only to be patient, but to remain peaceful as well.

This comes after two initially peaceful protests last week devolved into chaos once the sun went down, leading to dozens of arrests.

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