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Attorney: Van driver did not intend to harm anyone at bus stop

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Six people were hurt when a van slammed into a crowded bus stop shelter.
Six people were hurt when a van slammed into a crowded bus stop shelter in north Minneapolis on Tuesday morning. It has left some civil rights activists questioning how authorities handled the investigation.
David Joles | Star Tribune via AP file

A serious crash on Tuesday morning in north Minneapolis has left some civil rights activists questioning how authorities handled the investigation.

Meanwhile, an attorney for the driver says his client did not mean to hurt people at a Metro Transit bus shelter.

Members of Black Lives Matter and other civil rights groups gathered in north Minneapolis Thursday to criticize the investigation of the crash which left six men injured. Metro Transit police say the 83-year-old man who drove his van into the shelter was not arrested. 

Chauntyll Allen, with Black Lives Matter Twin Cities, speaks.
Chauntyll Allen, with Black Lives Matter Twin Cities, right and Nekima Levy Armstrong, left, urge police on July 11, 2019 to arrest man behind the wheel of a van that ran into several people waiting at a north Minneapolis bus shelter.
Brandt Williams | MPR News

Metro Transit spokesperson Howie Padilla says following the crash the driver was taken to Metro Transit police headquarters where he was tested for drugs and alcohol, questioned and released.

Padilla said the tests showed the man was not impaired. He said investigators are working hard to determine the facts of what happened. 

"And that's exactly what our officers are trained to do. That's what they are doing in a professional manner. And we will do that to its conclusion," Padilla said Thursday.

Two of the men remain hospitalized in critical condition on Friday, according to North Memorial Health. Another is in fair condition.

"To just take this guy downtown and then just release him out into the public — seeing the type of danger he just inflicted on our community shows me that the people involved do not care about us," said Chauntyll Allen, head of Black Lives Matter Twin Cities who helped organize the Thursday gathering.

Mark Bradford, an attorney for the driver of the van, said his client did not intentionally hurt anyone, nor did he receive any special treatment by officers.

"Our client was treated the same way as everybody else. He was taken into custody, he was given a field sobriety test, he was medically evaluated and he was released," Bradford said.

Bradford said he couldn't discuss his client's story of what happened because of the ongoing criminal investigation.

Bradford said his client is a business owner in the area and is concerned for the men who were hurt.