Jhamal Gonsalves supporters protest at attorney general’s office
CRANSTON, R.I. (WLNE) — Twenty-one people were arrested after Tuesday night’s protests of the moped incident involving Jhamal Gonsalves and a Providence police officer, and appeared in Providence district court Wednesday. They face charges like disorderly conduct and assault on police.
The chaotic scene last night was a huge contrast to the peaceful protest Gonsalves’ family called for here at the Attorney General’s Office in Cranston Wednesday afternoon.
Protesters there, like Jeremy Costa, distanced themselves from last night’s violence.
“Who are the people that are actually rioting?” he said of Tuesday night’s protests. “Who are the people that are spray-painting? Who are the people that are throwing rocks? Who are the people that are throwing pipes? I told them to put the rocks down, put the pipes down.”
Protesters Wednesday directed their message to the attorney general because they believe should press charges against the officer they say hit Gonsalves.
“This is a direct protest, directed to the person that can actually make an action,” Costa said. “This is wonderful. There might not be a lot of people here, but I’m glad that Mark called me and told me to come over here because he wants criminal charges placed on this man.”
He says the Providence Police no-chase policy has made the city overrun with bikes.
“You have basically opened up a sanctuary for them to ride in,” Costa said. “So now bikers from other areas come here because they no they can’t get chased.”
Costa is active in the biking community and says he wants to work with law enforcement to find a solution.
“There’s possibilities,” he said. “There are plenty of possibilities.”
Costa says one possibility is to have an allocated zone for bikers, like an enclosed arena, that would allow them to ride safely.