AG announces conclusion to investigation of moped crash: No charges

The crash sparked conflict in providence after a 24-year-old was left in a coma

PROVIDENCE, R.I (WLNE) – Attorney General Peter Neronha  announced that there won’t be any charges in the officer-involved moped crash, that left one man in a coma back in October.

The accident happened at the intersection of Elmwood Avenue and Bissell Street in Providence.

24-year-old Jhamal Gonsalves was seriously injured and put into a coma following an accident that appeared as though a police cruiser struck his moped.

He is still in serious condition and is in a facility in New Jersey, according to his family.

After the incident, protests and rallies were seen in Providence.

Officials said there would be a transparent investigation, but Gonsalves’ family previously expressed frustration in the process.

Eight days after the incident, body camera footage was made public.

According to Colonel Manni of Rhode Island State police, the cruiser hit the stop sign, which hit Gonsalves in his helmet.

This conclusion is based on what the crash reenactment revealed.

Attorney General Neronha described what they look for in cases with possible reckless driving based on previous Supreme Court decisions.

These could include a high rate of speed, failure to break, intoxication.

Neronha concluded that the officer involved did not meet high standard of criminal recklessness. He added that though the evidence does not support criminal charges against the officers involved that day, their actions may qualify as negligence.

“Attorney General Neronha didn’t think it was recklessness to the level he needed to be able to prove,” said the Gonsalves’ family attorney Jude Kerrison. “But I see negligence, so much negligence all day long.”

The announcement that there will not be any criminal charges are not sitting well with the victim’s family.

“We’re not happy at all,” said his father, Mark Gonsalves.

One of the things the family found negligent was that the officers tried to administer Narcan to Gonsalves, thinking he was overdosing, and then they didn’t know how to.

Kerrison says they’ll be filing a civil suit in federal court next week.

A key part of the investigation, according to the attorney general, was audio from Officer Kyle Endres instructing fellow officers to box in Gonsalves.

However, Neronha said Thursday, the officers didn’t end up doing this. The Gonsalves family disagrees.

“They are responsible for what happened,” said Kerrison. “So even though they can’t be criminally charged, they’re civilly responsible and will be held as such.”

While there are no charges, Public Safety Commissioner Steve Pare said the next phase is to look at administratively what officers did or didn’t do in violation of any of their policies.

Police will hold a press conference Friday morning to discuss the investigation.

A fundraiser is planned for Martin Luther King Jr. Day to help the family with medical bills and the cost of making their home handicap accessible.

©WLNE-TV/ABC6 2020

Categories: News, Providence, Regional News