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Providence releases new video in Jhamal Gonsalves investigation, comments on previous night’s protest

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We’ve not had any video that shows the point of contact, the collision… the shot that you’ll see, there’s some foliage that just blocks where the collision would occur.”


The City of Providence today released two new videos of the Jhamal Gonsalves moped/police cruiser incident, but neither video definitively shows the point of impact, and city officials, including Mayor Jorge Elorza, Public Safety Commissioner Steven Paré and Chief Hugh Clements, still maintain that there is no definitive proof that the police cruiser struck the moped. Gonsalves is still in a coma at Rhode Island Hospital.

“There’s a larger conversation going on in this country and certainly, it’s hit home right here in Providence that involves equity [and] justice, a complicated discussion that this Providence Police Department has always been part of prior to this and will continue to be going forward,” said Chief Clements.

At Wednesday’s press conference, Mayor Elorza said the police body cam footage from the numerous officers on the scene would soon be made available. The body cam footage, from “probably more” than two dozen officers, needs to be redacted before release, said Commissioner Paré.

Here’s the full press conference:

Elorza also had comments about the protest that took place on Tuesday that began peacefully but ended with 21 people arrested. Elorza noted that the protest and march had begun peacefully, but later, that “after the sun had gone down… it did turn much more aggressive.”


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“Aggressors, agitators, those who wanted to incite violence, wanted to see it go that way,” said Chief Clements, adding, “The men and women of the Providence Police Department did an awesome job, literally under fire. Under fire from fireworks, bricks, bottles, rocks, everything you can think of. Incredible restraint amid that chaos and violence.

“Five Providence Police Officers were hit with objects. One was transported to the hospital,” said Clements. “Thank God he had his helmet on that saved him. He certainly has a concussion-type injury. The other officers were fine.”

Chief Clements estimated there were around 100 to 150 “agitators” engaging with the police. There were 21 total arrests, 16 males, five females, one minor. Nine of the 21 were from Providence. The charges ranged from resisting arrest, obstruction, disorderly conduct and fireworks.

The first video shows “Jamal going by [in] the video, then you’ll also see that scooter taking a right hand turn,” said Commissioner Paré.

The second video is from a security cam, further up on Bissell Street, shooting towards Elmwood Avenue, said Commissioner Paré. “What that shows you is Jamal taking a right hand turn towards Bissell Street, and you don’t see the point of contact at all. We’ve not had any video that shows the point of contact, the collision… the shot that you’ll see, there’s some foliage that just blocks where the collision would occur.”

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Steve Ahlquist is a frontline reporter in Rhode Island. He has covered human rights, social justice, progressive politics and environmental news for nearly a decade. atomicsteve@gmail.com