Moped crash involving police sparks protests in Rhode Island


(PROVIDENCE, R.I.) — A Rhode Island man was in a coma Wednesday after his moped crashed during a police chase earlier this week, sparking protests.

Authorities are investigating whether Jhamal Gonsalves’ moped was struck by a Providence police vehicle just before crashing on Sunday.

Video before the crash occurred showed police trying to get a group of people riding dirt bikes off the street. Gonsalves could be seen in the video turning right with a police cruiser pursuing him closely just before the crash occurs outside of the frame.

The incident sparked major protests Tuesday night as hundreds gathered in support of Gonsalves. At least 19 people have been arrested.

Representatives of Black Lives Matter Rhode Island and other activist groups spoke alongside family members of Gonsalves’ family.

Gonsalves’ father, Mark Gonsalves, urged protestors to remain nonviolent and told ABC affiliate WLNE that he didn’t want his son’s name associated with violence.

“I want a protest to be scheduled during the daytime, at the attorney general’s office, so the officer can be arrested,” Mark Gonsalves said. “So an indictment can be made and a warrant can be issued and the officer can be arrested.”

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