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Truck driver who barreled into protestors on I-35 bridge taken into custody; more than 150 arrested for breaking curfew

A tanker truck drives into thousands of protesters
REUTERS/Eric Miller
A tanker truck drove into thousands of protesters marching on I-35W during a protest on Sunday.

Bogdan Vechirko
Hennepin County Sheriff's Office
Bogdan Vechirko
The Star Tribune’s James Walsh writes: “About 150 protesters were arrested near I-35W and Washington Avenue in downtown Minneapolis Sunday after they failed to heed the 8 p.m. curfew. … Earlier in the day, witnesses on the 35W bridge over the Mississippi River said dozens of marchers were sitting or had taken a knee for a moment of silence when the truck came hurtling toward them and stopped halfway across the bridge. Then demonstrators swarmed the cab and appeared to drag the driver out of the truck. Minneapolis police closed in and took the driver, who was injured, into custody. The Otsego, Minn., man was being held on probable cause for assault.”

The Pioneer Press’ Dave Orrick writes: “While the early part of Sunday evening appeared relatively quiet, officials said that no decision had been made on whether curfew would be imposed Monday. Top law enforcement officials will make a recommendation to Walz, who has instituted the previous curfews jointly with the respective mayors of St. Paul and Minneapolis and authorized local officials across the state to do so as they see fit.”

The New York Times reports: “Fires burned outside the White House, the streets of New York City were gripped by mayhem and stores in Santa Monica, Calif., were looted after another day of peaceful protests descended into lawlessness in major cities across the United States. … As the smoke cleared Monday morning, here is where things stand. … Mr. Trump was largely heard on Twitter, but spurned the advice of his campaign advisers to deliver a nationally televised address and remained out of sight on Sunday. He accused Democrats of not being tough enough on violent protesters and blamed radical leftists for the turmoil roiling the nation.”

MPR reports: “After another night of violence, fires and looting in the Twin Cities, volunteers filled up trashed streets Saturday morning, helping clean up the aftermath of unrest following the killing of George Floyd earlier this week. Hundreds of people from around Minnesota and the country on Saturday flocked to the Twin Cities neighborhoods where massive protests took place for a fourth consecutive night on Friday despite the cities’ curfews in place.”

For KSTP-TV, Kyle Brown reports: “The former Minneapolis Police officer who was charged in connection with the death of George Floyd has been transferred from a county jail to a maximum-security prison, according to the Minnesota Department of Corrections. Derek Chauvin…  was originally taken into custody at the Ramsey County Jail; he was then taken to the Hennepin County Jail on Sunday afternoon. Now, according to the DOC, he has been released to the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Oak Park Heights.”

At Politico, Nancy Cook says, “As protests continue to flare across the country, President Donald Trump and his top aides cannot settle on the next steps the White House should take to ease tensions after the latest death of an African American man detained by a white police officer. White House chief of staff Mark Meadows has been pushing for the president to deliver a formal address to the nation to emphasize his support for law and order and police officers, a familiar trope for the Republican Party and one that typically plays well with its base.”

The Washington Post’s Philip Rucker writes: “In cities across America on Sunday, people awoke to see shattered glass, charred vehicles, bruised bodies and graffiti-tagged buildings. Demonstrators gathered again in peaceful daytime protest of racial injustice. By evening, thousands had converged again in front of the White House, where people had rioted and set fires the night before. President Trump stayed safely ensconced inside and had nothing to say, besides tweeting fuel on the fire. Never in the 1,227 days of Trump’s presidency has the nation seemed to cry out for leadership as it did Sunday, yet Trump made no attempt to provide it.”

Hollie Silverman at CNN says, “Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo wants his department to provide a police escort for George Floyd when his body is returned to his home city to show their support for his family, he told CNN’s Don Lemon on Sunday. Acevedo said he wants to make sure the family is safe and feel supported by his department. ‘It’s going to be a big deal for our city to bring him back home’, Acevedo said. ‘He’s well known, he’s known by a lot of our officers.’”

Also from KSTP’s Brown: “A GoFundMe page dedicated to George Floyd has raised more than $6.5 million in four days. George Floyd’s brother, Philonise Floyd, organized the page, which is called the “Official George Floyd Memorial Fund.” According to the page’s description, the funds will be used to cover funeral and burial expenses, grief counseling and lodging and travel for all court proceedings.The page also says a portion of the funds will go toward the estate of George Floyd ‘for the benefit and care of his children and their educational fund.’”

Also for CNN, former NFL executive Joe Lockhart writes: “The situation in Minnesota right now offers a unique opportunity to deal with the symbols of racial injustice. As a small, but important step, the owners of the Minnesota Vikings, Zygi and Mark Wilf, can send a strong message by offering Colin Kaepernick a contract to play with the Vikings. Bring him into camp, treat him like any of the other players given a chance to play the game they love. It will not solve the problem of blacks and police violence. But it will recognize the problem that Kaepernick powerfully raised, and perhaps show that, with courage, real progress can be made.”

Comments (22)

  1. Submitted by dan buechler on 06/01/2020 - 07:15 am.

    I really liked Colin K. Any time there was an opening for a qb I would hope for his exciting brand of play running, intercepts and all. Unfortunately for me he poisoned the well with his platform the last week. Peer reviewed studies are mixed but show that protests have negligible effects on public policy and often produce a backlash that can set movements backwards….. I believe many students are mis educated by reading Zinn and not Chomsky and there is a shaming peer pressure to fit in by protest and not petition. If you petition which involves dialogue you realize that people have different beliefs. And you put your group out there in the public square that involves education and not sheer force. Now I realize that petition has its drawbacks and can be hijacked by those with money. But I have seen testosterone riots enabled by protests or even celebration of sports victories rights devolve into riots. Petitioning with all its faults and done in a non electronic manner never has burnt down three grocery stores in a neighborhood……Now I acknowledge that there are conspiracy theories abounding from the right, left and center. But there is one fact we should all be aware of. High level Russian actors are hacking their way into network systems and ultimately this could devolve into a nuclear stand off. WE don’t have a Mcmaster, Kelly or a Mattis to protect us. Read the NYT. Also the Strib and Minnpost. Foreign Affairs and Foreign Policy.

    • Submitted by Sam Bauman on 06/01/2020 - 09:53 am.

      Dan, are you saying you like Kaepernick except for the protesting?

      • Submitted by dan buechler on 06/01/2020 - 02:38 pm.

        No I liked this guy beyond his playing for his activism. But in the past week he threw fuel on the fire with no end game. I’d love to see him play and speak again but he made a intemporate (sp) mistake.

  2. Submitted by Eric House on 06/01/2020 - 09:01 am.

    I’m not quite sure how driving a semi-truck at high speed towards pedestrians is only ‘assault’. Attempted murder seems to be a more apt charge.

    • Submitted by dan buechler on 06/01/2020 - 10:04 am.

      The limbic system is a powerful emotion and it can nearly override all regulation. Look at the recent Brock Lesnar fight. He assaulted after the bell. Working in a detox as a young man I saw things you would not believe. When I was a younger man I drove a pickup in the western plains of Kansas at 90 mph. I should be dead. Fortunately the engine killed before I could have had a rollover.

      • Submitted by David Markle on 06/01/2020 - 11:31 am.

        And look at how Bill Janklow used to drive. (Though I thinik that was some other part of his brain running badly, not a pumped limbic system.)

        • Submitted by Greg Price on 06/01/2020 - 02:14 pm.

          Bill Janklow was a good man…he made a mistake and paid for it dearly….

          But I would venture to guess that know nothing of the good things he did accomplish…

          will give you props fro spelling Limbic…

          • Submitted by Pat Terry on 06/01/2020 - 02:37 pm.

            Bill Janklow was a horrible excuse for a human being. He drove recklessly his whole life, abusing his power as governor to protect himself from the legal consequences. It finally caught up with him and he killed a man.

            This wasn’t a mistake unless his whole life was a mistake.

          • Submitted by dan buechler on 06/01/2020 - 02:43 pm.

            Janklow was an interesting active. Who literally pulled himself up by his bootstraps. But he was erratic as a driver and bragged about it.. Maybe we need to bring back the bison to control speeding, it might be cheaper and tastier.

            • Submitted by Greg Price on 06/01/2020 - 04:55 pm.

              Bill Janklow was the go to go to if you needed help….

              You speak pretty glibly about a lifetime of achievement for the common good…

              I wish we had a hundred Bill Janklows….we would have less problems in this country for sure…

    • Submitted by Brian Simon on 06/01/2020 - 01:42 pm.

      I’m unclear on whether the driver was aware of the protestors when he entered the freeway. Accessing that bridge, the sight lines are poor from both directions. I’m open to the possibility that he didn’t know there were people until he was very close.

      Having said that, if it was a deliberate act, the assault charge is inadequate. I’d like to hear our political leaders using the term “domestic terrorism” when charging the people conducting violence.

      • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 06/01/2020 - 02:44 pm.

        I understand that he may have been caught unawares. In that case, the thing to do is call for help, not barrel right into the crowd.

        • Submitted by Tom Anderson on 06/01/2020 - 10:10 pm.

          While driving a semi-trailer on an Interstate freeway. Isn’t that illegal? MNDOT screwed up but, other than the driver it seems that nobody was seriously hurt which is good for everyone.

          • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 06/02/2020 - 09:27 am.

            Call for help! Why is that so difficult to comprehend? Why would we excuse a driver whose gut reaction on seeing a crowd of people in front of him was to drive right into the crowd?

  3. Submitted by RB Holbrook on 06/01/2020 - 09:56 am.

    And today we learned that the FEC reports that Mr. Vechirko donated money to both the “Trump Make America Great Again Committee” and the Republican National Committee.

    • Submitted by dan buechler on 06/01/2020 - 02:48 pm.

      Is this a great country!! A ukraine sp can emigrate and support a president who enabled the invasion of his native country.

  4. Submitted by Rod Loper on 06/01/2020 - 10:02 am.

    I thought I was looking at major carnage. It is a miracle it wasn’t worse.

  5. Submitted by Charles Holtman on 06/01/2020 - 10:23 am.

    “At Politico, Nancy Cook says, ‘As protests continue to flare across the country, President Donald Trump and his top aides cannot settle on the next steps the White House should take to ease tensions after the latest death of an African American man detained by a white police officer.'”

    Look at almost any sentence in the mainstream media, and you find the normalizing of Trump that put him in office and may well keep him there. Here you see Ms. Cook taking it upon herself to ascribe the subjective intent – “easing tensions” – that hides the moral vacancy that makes Trump what he is. Trump got elected by fomenting hate, and anyone who pays attention knows that it’s all he’s got to try to ride to re-election. Easing tensions is absolutely the last thing on his mind.

    • Submitted by Henk Tobias on 06/01/2020 - 11:08 am.

      “Easing tensions is absolutely the last thing on his mind.” Exactly, he depends on chaos to mask his incompetence. Unfortunately for him the mask is coming off.

    • Submitted by BK Anderson on 06/01/2020 - 12:42 pm.

      Ditto the admittedly anti-Trump WaPo piece by Rucker, positing that there’s never been a greater need for “leadership” from Trump! Trump, the Anti-Prez for whom national leadership is not only impossible but not even on the agenda.

      As Charles Pierce writes, Trump can only exist as “president” of a divided nation–and the more deeply divided the better!

      Leave aside that the current national situation is so far beyond any possible relevant experience that this utterly unqualified privileged fool has ever had in his entire sorry existence that he couldn’t imagine what to “do” even if he wanted to (which he doesn’t).

  6. Submitted by Greg Smith on 06/02/2020 - 01:54 pm.

    Edit. Charged

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