A dramatic moped crash video involving a police cruiser is sparking outrage in Providence, after Jhamal Gonsalves, a 24-year-old Rhode Island man driving the moped, was left in critical condition.
“We had a terrible incident last night where a young man was seriously injured and is in the hospital… we hope he makes a speedy recovery,” Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza said in a news conference. In that news conference, authorities pledged to reconstruct the crash, but they said it wasn’t yet clear whether the police cruiser struck the moped driver before the driver struck a house.
Authorities, who included the state’s attorney general, promised to conduct a thorough and fair investigation, but the contents of the video were driving outrage on social media. The attorney general stressed that it was too early to “draw any legal conclusions. The crash left Gonsalves in a coma with head swelling, according to WPRI.
Here’s what you need to know:
Cell Phone Video Captured the Dramatic Crash
Breonna Rozayy posted the initial cell phone video of the police moped crash on Facebook on October 19. You can watch it here on her page.
“Providence Police Department need to be stopped !! This is really CRAZY THEY INTENTIONALLY HIT THIS MAN AND YOU CAN SEE IT CLEAR AS DAY!” she wrote. You can watch the video above and decide for yourself.
The video shows the squad trailing the moped, which then turns. You can’t see the exact moment of impact in the video, though.”I think it’s unspeakable that a police officer would use a vehicle as an instrument of death. And enough is enough. If you’re not outraged by this, then you’re not human,” said Mark Fisher of Black Lives Matter to WJAR-TV.
Gonsalves Is a Fan of Motorcross Racing
There is a GoFundMe page to help Gonsalves with his recovery. “Jhamal Gonsalves was slammed off his moped Sunday night by a police officer in his SUV cruiser into a wall. Jhamal has a long road ahead of him in terms of recovery,” the friend who created it wrote.
According to his Facebook page, Gonsalves is a “yacht painter / motocross racer” who went to Rogers High School in Newport, Rhode Island. His cover picture is of a bike.
Police say that they started receiving calls about 300 vehicles, including mopeds and ATVs, driving through Providence before the crash. They said this creates a challenge for law enforcement because they operate recklessly.
Squads try to encourage the vehicles to leave the city. “There was a large group exiting Providence…a small black moped, which is in front of one of the marked units following at a distance with his lights on. That moped took an abrupt right hand turn up to the sidewalk… mounting the curb and losing control,” said Providence Police Chief Hugh T. Clements, Jr. It collided with the house. The rest of the incident, including whether the squad struck the moped, remains under investigation.
The officer who was involved is a six-year veteran officer named Kyle Endres. He is on administrative duty.