A US correctional officer drove into a row of Jewish protesters demonstrating at the street entrance to an ICE detention centre in Rhode Island, injuring several people, activists said.
Protesters were then pepper-sprayed, according to people present at the protest.
Hundreds of Jewish protesters had gathered at the Donald W. Wyatt Detention Facility, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement centre in Central Falls, Rhode Island, and dozens blocked the entrance to the centre’s car park. The protest was the latest demonstration by Never Again Action, a new Jewish group protesting ICE and United States immigration policy by getting arrested at ICE detention facilities.
A black pickup truck driving 10 to 15 miles per hour drove into a group of about 30 people who were sitting in a row and blocking the street that fed into the detention centre’s car park.
“The crowd screamed as the driver used the truck to strike several people, knocking some over. Several protesters jumped in front of the truck to try to stop it,” Never Again Action said in a statement. “As protesters surrounded the truck, about a dozen correctional officers from Wyatt descended on the crowd. When protesters refused to move, officers pepper sprayed dozens of people and physically pushed them.”
Video of the incident shows people screaming and running as the car moves slowly into the crowd. The crowd then broke out into a chant of “The whole world is watching.” Protesters surrounded the truck.
In its statement, Never Again Action said several people were treated for injuries from the truck-ramming and at least one person was taken to a local hospital for additional treatment. It said “dozens” also received medical aid after being doused with pepper spray.