Saturday, April 20, 2024

Truck in Rhode Island drove into ICE protesters outside detention facility

A captain at a Rhode Island detention facility has been placed on administrative leave after he drove a truck toward a line of protesters who were demanding the center cease its cooperation with ICE, officials and witnesses said.

The incident, which took place Wednesday night was captured on video. Five demonstrators were hospitalized, according to the group that organized the protest, Never Again Action, which describes itself as a collection of Jewish people and their allies protesting ICE and the government’s treatment of migrants.

Dozens of people had showed up to protest the contract between ICE and the Wyatt Detention Facility in Central Falls, the activists’ news release said. The detention facility said Capt. Thomas Woodworth has been placed on administrative leave pending the results of two investigations: an independent investigation being conducted by the Rhode Island State Police and an internal investigation being conducted by the facility.

Around 10 p.m., a dark pickup truck “intentionally swerved into a line of protesters, including at least three minors, who were seated across from the entrance” to the facility, the group said in its statement. The group said two people were hospitalized after being hit by the truck, but the video does not show those injuries.

“Two people were treated for injuries from the truck, including 64-year-old Jerry Belair, who suffered a fractured leg and internal bleeding,” organizer Amy Anthony told CNN in an email. Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo said she was outraged by the incident depicted in the video; “Our state and our nation were built on the idea that everyone has a right to express their opinion publicly and peacefully,” Raimondo tweeted.