MINNEAPOLIS: A tanker truck drove through thousands of people marching on a Minneapolis highway to protest the death of George Floyd on Sunday (Mar 31) before protesters dragged the driver from the cab and beat him, according to a Reuters witness and authorities.
It did not appear any of the marchers were injured when the truck raced towards them on I-35, blowing its horn, sending protesters scattering before coming to a stop, according to the witness and a tweet by the Minnesota Department of Public Security (MNDPS).
Police arrived soon after and arrested the truck driver, who was taken to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, MNDPS said.
"The incident just underscores the volatile situation we have out there," Minnesota governor Tim Walz said.
Video of the incident shows protesters swarming the vehicle before it comes to a stop.
Although he did not drive straight at the bulk of the crowd, the driver showed little sign of slowing down and some of the protesters could be seen desperately running to the side of the road before the truck eventually came to a halt.
It marked the second incident in as many days of a vehicle driving at people protesting Floyd's death after a New York City Police car was captured on video on Saturday driving into a crowd of protesters who were pelting it with objects.
"Very disturbing actions by a truck driver on I-35W, inciting a crowd of peaceful demonstrators," MNDPS tweeted.
Video showed the truck had a logo on its side for Kenan Advantage Group, an Ohio-based transportation company.
The company said in a statement that it was informed of an incident involving one of its independent contractors in Minneapolis and it would be cooperating with investigating authorities.
MNDPS did not identify the driver but said the Minnesota State Patrol and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension were investigating the incident as a criminal matter.
READ: Minneapolis cop charged with third-degree murder in George Floyd case as violent protests sweep US
The footage evoked memories of the murder in 2017 of an anti-racism protester in the city of Charlottesville who was killed when a white supremacist drove his vehicle into a crowd.
Minneapolis has been the scene of large-scale protests since last Monday when a black man called George Floyd died while being arrested by a white police officer who pinned his knee on his neck for around eight minutes.