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Tanker truck barrels into thousands of protestors marching on 35W


Sunday May 31, 2020

After marching from U.S. Bank Stadium, thousands of protesters flooded onto Interstate 35W in Minneapolis on Sunday, shutting it down. MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
After marching from U.S. Bank Stadium, thousands of protesters flooded onto Interstate 35W in Minneapolis on Sunday, shutting it down. MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION


A tanker truck barrelled north through a crowd of thousands of protesters marching on the I-35W bridge in Minneapolis just before 6 p.m. Sunday.

Minneapolis police surrounded the tanker after it stopped in the middle of the bridge, guns drawn. It was unclear whether anyone was injured or taken into custody.

Drew Valle, a special education teacher at Minneapolis Washburn High School, said cars still driving on the roadway were going slowly to the right of the throngs of people when the truck came speeding towards the marchers.

"He wasn't stopping. He was beeping loudly and driving into a crowd of people," said Valle, visibly shaken. "That's the same kind of malice that brought us her. It's a callous disregard for someone's humanity."

Thousands of people were marching to protest the death of George Floyd had shut town two major interstates in Minneapolis and St. Paul on Sunday afternoon.

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Westbound Interstate-94 in St. Paul was shut down midafternoon as about 1,500 people left a rally at the State Capitol and marched toward Minneapolis before exiting on Lexington Parkway and returning east on University Avenue.

St. Paul police said the Justice for George Floyd march appears to be organized and peaceful.

In Minneapolis, thousands of people who met at U.S. Bank Stadium crossed the Hennepin Avenue Bridge and marched south on Interstate 35W. They paused on the bridge and took a knee, chanting: "What's his name? George Floyd!"

Charles Adams of Chicago was visiting his daughter in Minneapolis and joined the march.

"It's mind-blowing," he said. "I really was impressed by the solidarity and the peacefulness of it. I hope that we would look in the mirror and realize that this is a real thing, and address it."

A tanker truck plowed toward group of protesters on Interstate 35W near downtown Minneapolis on Sunday.PAM LOUWAGIE – STAR TRIBUNE
A tanker truck plowed toward group of protesters on Interstate 35W near downtown Minneapolis on Sunday.PAM LOUWAGIE – STAR TRIBUNE


In other developments, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Sunday that he has asked Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison to assist in the cases arising out of the death of George Floyd.

Ellison has accepted Freeman's invitation to be a full partner in further proceedings in this case. Last week, a number of elected officials asked that Ellison take over the prosecution because they did not have confidence in Freeman.

"There have been recent developments in the facts of the case where the help and expertise of the Attorney General would be valuable," Freeman said.

Freeman and Ellison plan on meeting Monday to begin their joint work on this case.

Before the marches, Gov. Tim Walz ordered highways and interstates to start closing at 5 p.m. instead of 7 p.m., and the closures will be more extensive than originally planned.

This is a developing story. Please return to startribune.com for updates.

Staff writers John Reinan and Pam Louwagie contributed to this report.



 





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