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MINNEAPOLIS (AP/WJW) — Minnesota’s governor says a man who drove his semitrailer into the midst of thousands of protesters on a Minneapolis freeway was confused.
Authorities say it appeared no one was hurt when the driver rolled onto the Interstate 35W freeway near downtown Minneapolis on Sunday.
Gov. Tim Walz said Monday that the driver got ahead of officials who were closing the freeway and became confused.
The governor noted the driver braked as he rolled past the crowd. Officials estimate 5,000 to 6,000 people were on the freeway.
Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington said nothing indicates the driver was intentionally targeting protesters.
The driver was an independent contractor from a North Canton company. In a statement, the company, Kenan Advantage Group, said:
“Our hearts go out to all those who are grieving the events of this past week. We have been informed of an incident involving one of our independent contractors in Minneapolis, MN during recent protests. Our first and foremost concern is for the safety and security of the public, our employees and our customers.
We will be cooperating fully with the investigating authorities in the days ahead. It would be inappropriate to comment at this time until we have additional facts as the investigation is in its early stages. We will comment further once we have more information.”
Protests have been held all over the country since the death of George Floyd, 46, in Minneapolis on May 25.
Floyd, who was black, died after a white police officer knelt on his neck for several minutes. That officer, Derek Chauvin, and three other officers were fired. Chauvin has been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.