Tanker truck drives into protesters near Minneapolis

A tanker truck drives into thousands of protesters marching on 35W north bound highway during a protest against the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S. May 31, 2020. REUTERS/Eric Miller

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

A tanker truck drove into a throng of protesters on a closed interstate near Minneapolis on Sunday, with the driver pulled from his rig and beaten, as major U.S. cities imposed curfews in fear of another night of demonstrations against police brutality descending into violence.

It did not appear that any marchers were struck by the truck as it moved through the crowd on the westbound lanes of Interstate 35, honking. The freeway was closed to traffic at the time. 

A Reuters witness said the truck driver was dragged out of the cab of his tractor-trailer rig and beaten by protesters before he was taken into custody by Minneapolis police. A Reuters photo showed him shirtless and covering his face as he stood next to a police officer. 

Protesters rally at the White House against the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, in Washington, D.C., U.S. May 31, 2020. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

“Very disturbing actions by a truck driver on I-35W, inciting a crowd of peaceful demonstrators,” the Minneapolis Department of Public Safety said on Twitter. “The truck driver was injured & taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries. He is under arrest. It doesn’t appear any protesters were hit by the truck.” 

The incident marked the latest outburst of violence following what began as peaceful demonstrations over the death of George Floyd.

Protesters march against the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, on the Brooklyn Bridge in Brooklyn, New York City, U.S., May 31, 2020. REUTERS/Caitlin Ochs

Floyd, an unarmed black man, died last Monday after a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck, sparking outrage that has swept across a politically and racially divided nation. 

Protesters have flooded streets after weeks of lockdowns during the coronavirus pandemic that threw millions out of work and hit minority communities especially hard.