Detroit, MI – A video has gone viral of a Detroit police SUV driving through a protesting mob that had surrounded his car, and knocking several to the ground (video below).
The incident occurred on Sunday evening when protesters were marching to Patton Park in Southwest Detroit, TMZ reported.
Video showed the officer initially stopped the police car when he encountered the large crowd of protesters in the middle of the intersection blocking the street.
The video showed the officer had his lights and siren on, and blasted his horn several times.
But the protesters in the video appeared to become more agitated and began jumping violently onto the hood of the police SUV.
That was when the video showed the police vehicle began moving forward, pushing its way through the protesters blocking its path.
As the SUV began to move, more protesters jumped on the hood and the windshield, obstructing the driver’s view of the road.
Cell phone video posted to social media showed the police SUV ran over at least one person as it tried to pull away from the screaming mob.
But protesters continued to cling to the hood of moving vehicle as the officer stopped and started, attempting to eject them.
A screaming, enraged group of protesters chased after the police SUV as it stopped and started until it had discharged at least three people from the hood, and then proceeded to leave the area, the video showed.
Detroit Police Sergeant Nicole Kirkwood said officers were attempting to redirect traffic because of the protest when the marchers became agitated and began jumping on vehicles, WJBK reported.
Detroit Police Chief James Craig blamed the protesters and said their “agitation escalated into violence-behavior,” WJBK reported.
Chief Craig showed reporters dashcam video from the attack on the police vehicle at a press conference on Monday afternoon.
“At this point, they’re moving the car to move the protesters but at some point when the speed increases, I think the speed increases to about 25 mph, that was just as the rear window was smashed out,” the chief explained.
He said protesters jumped on the hood of the car and the officers inside could hear loud banging on the outside of their vehicle.
When their rear window was shattered, the chief said the officers thought they were getting shot at and that’s when they accelerated through the protesters blocking their way, WJBK reported.
“Once they heard the back window, rear window smashed – it was very loud – they were not certain they were not being fired upon,” Chief Craig said. “They accelerated to get out of there in the event they were being fired upon.”
He said the officers inside the SUV also believed some of the protesters were armed with hammers, WJBK reported.
It remained unclear how the back window of the police SUV was shattered.
Chief Craig said it might have been struck with a skateboard, WJBK reported.
“We didn’t know what broke it, but whatever it was, it created enough concern for officers and their safety,” he explained.
Watch the incident unfold in the video below. WARNING: Graphic Content: