Why Did Providence Police Attack Jhamal Gonsalves?
An investigation involving the Providence Police Department pursues after officer Kyle Endres hit moped rider Jhamal Gonsalves with his police cruiser. The incident occurred Sunday in Rhode Island after police attempted to disperse a group of ATV and motorbike riders from the streets. Gonsalves was amongst the targeted group, and after being pursued, clashed with police while making a right turn.
The horrific incident sent Gonsalves to the hospital with a coma and other head-related injuries.
Later, Rhode Island protestors flooded the streets on dirt bikes to demand an independent investigation of the incident that occurred. They wanted to peacefully bring awareness to the police department’s malicious and reckless behavior, however, the protests eventually escalated. During the protests, Providence police detained and arrested 19 individuals.
The family of Gonsalves and protestors want to know why the police attacked him, and whether officer Endres will face prosecution. Currently, the investigation focuses on whether the offending officer hit Gonsalves, or if the officer ricocheted off of a stop sign into the moped rider’s path.
Providence Police Try To Pass The Blame
Some issues that anti-police brutality movements aim to address involves their lack of accountability after committing crimes. While there is technically an ongoing investigation into the situation, police at the scene were quick to deflect any blame or involvement.
“Nobody hit him with a car,” one officer replied to a man recording the incident. In the video, Gonsalves cuts out of frame at the moment of impact. However, moments after hearing a loud crash you can observe him toppled over his moped on the sidewalk. Nearby, you can see that the suspected police cruiser propelled itself on the sidewalk after the impact of the crash.
Additionally, Providence Police Officers Union President Michael Imondi was quick to blame social media for making the incident about police brutality. As he scrambled for excuses, Imondi was quick to direct questions toward the crashed motorbike.
“There’s no damage to the bike,” Imondi said to WJAR. “Clearly, if he hit [Gonsalves], there would be damage on the bike.”
So, according to some in the Providence Police Department, they did not hit Gonsalves at all. Yet, they’re currently investigating whether officer Endres hit the stop sign first, or Gonsalves. Either way, his reckless driving sent a man to the hospital, and the police are waving red flags in lieu of answers.
His Family And Protestors Aren’t Buying It
Gonsalves’ friends and family describe him as a skilled moped rider. They are not buying the police department’s excuses, and they want answers.
The Party for Socialism and Liberation of Rhode Island’s member Satya Mohapatra called the event a, “Brutal, horrific attempt at manslaughter.” She explained that they don’t want a “hoodwink” investigation, and they protest so justice will be served.
The activist youth organization P.R.O.V. X (Progressive Reform Overrides Violence X) told Loud News Net, “We stand with Jhamal and his family during this time. We offer full support to the family and will continue taking the streets until Justice for Jhamal and Jaylon is served.”
What About Providence’s “No Chase” Laws?
A great point that many critics are bringing attention to is that Providence has a “no chase” policy. Legally, they should not have been pursuing Gonsalves to the point where they either hit him, or they swerved into a stop sign then hit him.
However, Providence police are denying that they chased Gonsalves or the other motorbikers. Their claims seem pretty fishy, considering they won’t even admit that they hit Gonsalves with their police cruiser.
Nonetheless, their reckless driving sent a young man to the hospital, and the city needs to check its policemen.
The Bottom Line
So, police brutality has been an ongoing issue in America. As more incidents like this occur, protests continue to call for an end to the use of excessive force from policemen.
It’s time that the police take responsibility for their actions. It’s time to stop covering their asses. With 2021 on the horizon, it’s time to make our voices heard: we demand justice for those impacted by police brutality, including Jhamal Gonsalves.