Protesters including Jewish and social activist groups were sitting down blocking a parking lot entrance at the Donald W. Wyatt Detention Facility in Central Falls, Rhode Island when a pickup truck was seen driving towards people sitting on the ground.
Protesters suffering the affects of what appears to be pepper spray can be seen in later videos filmed by the demonstrators.
A local ABC news outlet reported the demonstrators had blocked the entrance as part of a protest against the facility’s relationship with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the treatment of Mexican immigrants.
One demonstrator, Will Speck, a member of the Providence chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America, told Reuters correctional officers encircled thetruck after it was driven towards the demonstration. They then pepper sprayed protesters, he said.
Central Falls mayor James Diossa on Thursday tweeted:
“I spoke w AG Neronha and Colonel Manni this morning. Their orgs will join the CFPD in investigating last night’s disturbing incident between Wyatt staff andprotesters outside of the Wyatt Detention Facility. I appreciate their collaboration in ensuring a transparent investigation.”
Donald W. Wyatt Detention Facility declined to comment when contacted by Reuters.
(Production: George Sargent, Hazel Baker, Mariana Sandoval)