PROVIDENCE — Protesters marched through Providence on Wednesday night before clashing with the police near the spot where a moped rider was critically injured while trailed by the police on Sunday.
This marked the second consecutive night of protests and violence as the Providence police investigate whether a police car collided with a moped driven by Jhamal Gonsalves, 24, of Middletown. Gonsalves was part of a large group of mopeds, motorcycles, and ATVs that the police were following down Elmwood Avenue.
Wednesday night’s protest began with nearly 50 people leaving the Miguel Luna Memorial Park and walking through the surrounding neighborhoods, chanting “Justice for Jhamal!”
Tensions mounted when the group arrived at the intersection of Elmwood Avenue and Bissell Street, where Gonsalves was injured on Sunday. He remains in critical condition at Rhode Island Hospital.
Wednesday night, Cranston police blocked off the street at the border with Providence. Motorcycle riders revved their engines and burned rubber, sending up clouds of acrid smoke. The police presence grew with officers from Providence and the State Police.
After a tense standoff, protesters lobbed rocks and other objects at the police, and the police responded with pepper spray.
The Providence police arrested seven people on charges of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, Providence police chief Hugh T. Clements Jr. said. Protesters smashed the windshield of a police vehicle and punctured the tires of four other police cars, he said, and an officer was injured when he was hit by a brick but did not require hospitalization.
Here’s how the night unfolded:
About 50 protesters gathered, chanting as they moved along Broad Street.
The scene at the Cranston border.
The protests continued at the corner of Elmwood Avenue and Bissell Street, where Gonsalves was injured on Sunday.
Police and protesters gathered at the scene of Sunday’s crash.
Tensions were high during a brief standoff. Protesters threw rocks at police officers, who deployed pepper spray to control the crowd.
Seven protesters were arrested.
K-9 units helped to clear the area.
On Wednesday, police released two videos of Sunday’s crash, but neither showed the key moment that could help determine whether the police car hit Gonsalves' moped.