PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The investigation continues into whether a Providence police cruiser hit a moped Sunday afternoon that left a 24-year-old man critically injured in the hospital.
Commissioner of Public Safety Steven Paré shared two new videos leading up to the crash but says there is still no video showing the point of contact between the cruiser and the victim, Jhamal Gonsalves.
The first video is from Elmwood Avenue which shows Gonsalves going by the on his bike and then taking a right-hand turn.
The second video is security footage from a building on Bissell Street facing Elmwood Avenue. The video shows Gonsalves taking a right-hand turn onto Bissell Street and then the police cruiser hitting a stop sign, which was severed and taken down.
Paré says the two videos are helpful, but neither video show definitive evidence of how Gonsalves suffered his injuries.
Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza is asking the public to send any videos of the incident to city officials since they will be “tremendously helpful.”
Body footage of officers on the scene will be released as soon as they are ready, according to Elorza. At last check, he says it could take up to two weeks for the footage to be ready.
Elorza said that his role is to “ensure that there is a full, fair, honest, transparent investigation into what happened just a few days ago.”
According to Elorza, they have also reached out to the Attorney General’s office to ensure there is a second and independent set of eyes to make sure they can be transparent and aspire as much confidence and trust in the public that this investigation is full, fair, professional, and honest.
The Rhode Island State Police are also going to be doing their own independent review of the incident.
“I know that emotions are running high. There’s a lot of anxiety. There’s a lot of anger and distrust,” Elorza said. “But I urge all of our residents here in the city of Providence is to please withhold judgment on exactly what happened, and let’s focus on a thorough, complete, and transparent investigation. That’s what we are absolutely committed to.”
Gonsalves was rushed to the hospital in critical condition Sunday night immediately following the crash which occurred as officers were attempting to reel in hundreds of off-road vehicles that took to the city streets. His family tells 12 News he remains hospitalized and in a coma.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family and we hope for a speedy and full recovery,” Elorza said.
The officer involved, identified by police as Kyle Endres, appeared to be following Gonsalves down Elmwood Avenue prior to the crash. Original cell phone video from a witness shows Gonsalves take an abrupt right turn before losing control of his moped and slamming into a building.
Endres, a six-year veteran of the force, has been placed on administrative duty, according to Paré.
A rally Tuesday night demanding justice for Gonsalves resulted in 21 people being arrested, Providence Col. Hugh Clements said.
Clements and Elorza both said that when the rally first started at 6 p.m. it remained peaceful through 8 p.m. After 8 p.m., it turned aggressive with people in the streets setting off fireworks at officers, along with bricks and bottles, Clements said.
Sixteen men, including one juvenile, and five females are facing charges ranging from resisting arrest, obstruction, disorderly conduct, and fireworks, Clements said. Nine of the 21 arrested are from Providence.
The majority of arrests came after 10:30 p.m., Clements added.
Five officers were hit last night, according to Clements, with one of them going to the hospital. The officer’s helmet saved him, Clements added, and that he is suffering from a concussion-type injury but will be OK.
“We don’t have a lot of answers,” Paré said. “The focus continues to be how Jhamal was injured as a result of the crash.”