There are more details being released about the man who hit six people with his car at a bus stop in Minneapolis. Metro Transits is saying the he didn’t intentionally target Black people, despite witness reports.
According to the Star Tribune, the driver has been identified as 83-year-old George Jensen, he was driving a “2002 gold Ford van that plowed into the shelter at the intersection of West Broadway and Lyndale Avenue N. about 9:25 a.m. after hitting a Metro Transit bus, according to a Metro Transit police report.”
Twitter user Savoy posted video with the caption, “It’s being reported that a van crashed into a bus stop in Minneapolis, injuring people inside. Eye witnesses are saying it was a very deliberate attack by a racist and that he circled the block a few times before intentionally mowing them down with his van.”
Despite nearly killing people, the police did not do a field-sobriety test “because Jensen didn’t exhibit signs of impairment,” Metro Transit spokesman Howie Padilla said Wednesday afternoon. He was briefly detained but not arrested or charged.
Padilla said, “The driver gave investigators no indication that this was an intentional act.”
Officials have said the driver was not being chased.
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.
For Metro Transit to immediately dismiss race is clearly suspect.