At least six people were hospitalized Wednesday after a driver hit a group of people waiting at a bus stop in Minneapolis, according to a new report. At least three of those people were injured critically. One witness who filmed the immediate aftermath said the driver, who is white, “intentionally” drove into the people at the bus stop because they were Black.
The driver, who was not immediately identified beyond his age of 83, was taken into custody before being released without facing any charges, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.
According to the Twitter account for The Savoy Show, which bills itself as “A Black American News Blog,” witnesses said the driver meant to run over the people at the bus stop.
“Nobody could believe what happened,” Shauntae Cosby, who witnessed the crash, told the Star Tribune. “It was just quiet.”
The coverage from the Star Tribune did not make any mention of race.
Officials have said the driver was not being chased.
“Preliminary information confirmed witness accounts that the driver heading south on Lyndale Avenue in a tan van clipped the mirror of a southbound Route 22 bus that had stopped at W. Broadway to unload passengers,” the Star Tribune reported. “The man backed up and struck the mirror for a second time, then went around the corner and crashed into the bus shelter on Broadway.”
While further details were unclear as authorities conducted their investigation, recent events around the country and world have shown the prevalence of people using motor vehicles as weapons. On top of that, race relations between the white and Black communities in Minneapolis have been rocky, at best.
Just last month a former Minneapolis police officer who is Black was sentenced to prison for shooting and killing a white woman. The sentencing stood in contrast to other police shootings around the country where the roles were reversed and never even resulted in any criminal charges at all.
Late last year, a white man from a Minneapolis suburb was charged with making felony terroristic threats and carrying a gun without a permit after he was accused of waving a gun at a group of Somali-American teenagers at a McDonald’s.
That followed police officers who decorated the Minneapolis Fourth Precinct’s Christmas tree with racially offensive items.
On top of that, this past Saturday marked the three-year anniversary since a police officer shot and killed Philando Castile in what many called a public execution. No one ever faced charged in that shooting.
The combination of all of the above may have culminated in Wednesday’s incident at the bus stop.