Minneapolis police are investigating an incident near Loring Park on Sunday afternoon where a man drove a car through a crowd showing support for Palestinians in Gaza.
According to witnesses, a number of protesters had moved into the streets near the intersection of Hennepin Avenue and Lyndale Avenue just before 3:30 p.m.
Organizer Meredith Aby said some were stationed at the busy intersection of Lyndale and Hennepin redirecting traffic toward the Walker Art Center to ensure the safety of protesters.
“We were trying to keep people from driving through this area, because we didn't want people to get hurt by a car,” Aby said, “because there were thousands of people who were in who were overflowing from the park. And so we were trying to protect the, you know, the space around the protest.”
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About an hour into the rally, witnesses said a car drove toward a group of the demonstrators.
Video obtained by MPR News appears to show a crowd of protesters surrounding the car and driver before he drove again. After he was stopped by protesters for a second time, he appeared to lunge at them with a knife or box cutter.
“It was scary, honestly, because there have been protests where people run through the crowd with their vehicles and people, like ended up dying,” said Raqiya Mohamed, one of the protesters. “And then knowing he was armed, like a part of me wanted to run away. But a part of me was like trying to assist everyone else in like stopping this car from causing more harm too because there's children here. There's families here."
Mohamed said the driver ran over her foot, but had no other injuries besides few scratches. Police said no injuries were reported to authorities.
According to Minneapolis police, no arrests have been made. And they have given no reason for why the man drove toward the crowd.