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19 arrested at rally to support injured moped rider in RI

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A rally to demand justice for a Providence man seriously injured in moped crash resulted in 19 arrests and one police officer injured, police said.

Hundreds of people, many riding dirt bikes and ATVs, rallied in the city Tuesday night. They say a police officer was involved in the man’s injury.

The protesters made their way to the Providence Public Safety Complex, where they were met by officers in riot gear.

While many people dispersed, some starting throwing objects at police and set off fireworks.

Police Chief Col. Hugh Clements Jr. said one officer suffered a minor injury after being hit by an object.

The protesters were demanding justice for a 24-year-old man injured Sunday. He has been identified by family as Jhamal Gonsalves. His father says he is a coma.

Police are investigating whether an officer’s cruiser was involved in the crash as police responded to reports of hundreds of dirt bikes, ATVs and other non-street legal vehicles roaring around the city streets. Video shows the cruiser behind the moped, but does not show an impact. Witnesses say the cruiser struck the moped.

The officer involved has been placed on desk duty pending the investigation.

Gonsalves’ father told WPRI-TV he does not condone Tuesday’s violence.

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