A man in a truck drove into a crowd of peaceful anti-Immigration and Customs Enforcement protesters outside a prison run by ICE in Central Falls, RI, on Wednesday night. People in the crowd claimed that the perpetrator was a guard who worked at the facility.
The protesters had gathered at the ICE-run Donald W. Wyatt Detention Facility to condemn Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant policies. In video posted by Jewish activist group Never Again Action, a man could be seen driving toward sitting activists, who quickly stood up and began shouting. The driver then sped up, ramming into the crowd of approximately 30 people.
“The whole world is watching,” people chanted around the truck.
Activists said that the man was an ICE guard working at the facility; other video taken shows the man sitting in his car with a badge and uniform. Never Again Action spokesperson Amy Anthony told the Washington Post that the driver eventually walked back into the jail.
The Wyatt facility did not respond to a Post request for comment. We have also reached out for comment and will update if we hear back.
“There don’t appear to be major injuries,” tweeted Never Again Action, “still assessing the situation, police are moving in *on us* now.”
The organization posted that Wyatt guards then pepper-sprayed the protesters, while Rhode Island state police “just stood by and did nothing.”
Protester Lex Rofeberg told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that everyone at the protest likely experienced the pepper spray.
“It was shocking, it was unexpected,” he added. “There’s some amount of risk when you go to an action like this. You don’t expect it to unfold like this.”
Almost exactly two years ago, activist Heather Heyer was killed in Charlottesville, VA, after 20–year–old James Alex Fields Jr. rammed into a crowd of protesters with his car. (Fields was recently sentenced to life in prison on hate crime charges.)