CENTRAL FALLS, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island’s attorney general said Thursday he is investigating after a truck drove at a group protesting federal immigration policies at a detention center.
At least two people were injured Wednesday night outside the Donald W. Wyatt Detention Facility in Central Falls, according to the Jewish youth movement Never Again Action. The center is used by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
A video posted by the group on social media shows a black pickup that protesters say was operated by a corrections officer driving up to an entrance blocked by demonstrators. The vehicle stops before again moving forward.
Protesters surround the truck, screaming and chanting: “The whole world is watching! The whole world is watching!”
Democratic Attorney General Peter Neronha said in a statement that it was unfortunate and that his office was gathering facts.
A message was left seeking comment from Wyatt officials.
“I share the outrage Rhode Islanders are feeling about the incident depicted in the video at the Wyatt Detention Center. Our state and our nation were built on the idea that everyone has a right to express their opinion publicly and peacefully,” Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo said on Twitter.
U.S. Rep. David Cicilline, also a Democrat, tweeted that he found video of the standoff “very disturbing.”
“The right of a free people to protest their government is fundamental to our democracy,” Cicilline said, urging Wyatt officials to fully cooperate with the investigation.
Never Again Action said in a statement that about 600 people had gathered at the prison and about 30 protesters had blocked entrances to the facility for several hours leading up to the confrontation with the truck driver.