A Russian-speaking resident of Minnesota drove a truck into a crowd of protesters: what is known about him
On May 31, a truck drove into a crowd of protesters in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The car was driven by a US citizen, presumably of Ukrainian origin, Bohdan Vechirko. At the scene, a rally was held against police brutality, provoked by the death of George Floyd, an African American who died on May 25 due to the fault of the police. Writes about it Fox9.
City officials said a man who was driving a truck driving into a crowd of protesters in Minneapolis was placed in Hennepin County Prison. Bogdan Vechirko is suspected of deliberate attack.
Around 18:00 on May 31, a truck drove at high speed into a large crowd of protesters gathered near Washington Avenue in Minneapolis. During the incident, the driver, according to eyewitnesses, desperately honked. At that moment, the group had already held a rally at this place for about two hours.
Fortunately, the protesters were able to leave the road on time and, according to police, no one was hurt. Having passed through the crowd, the driver slowed down and stopped, and the protesters began to climb onto the truck. The driver was pulled out of the car and started to beat. But another group of protesters intervened, protecting the man from beating.
He was pushed towards the police, who quickly put him in a police car. Speaking shortly after the incident, Minnesota Governor Tim Waltz said the motive for the incident is not yet known.
The road where the incident occurred was blocked due to the rally. Police track the driver’s path to find out how he was able to get around the installed floors.
Here is a video of the semi truck that comes in through protesters on 35 w bridge in MN. This road was supposed to be closed. Peaceful protesters were protesting. pic.twitter.com/eUWhXm6Zr9
- MN Crystal Fleischman Yang Gang☂️🧢🦄🤑🥰 (@ CrystalFleisc10) May 2, 2017
A statement by Kenan Advantage, the company that owns the truck, says Vechirko was an independent contractor who carried out their order.
“Our main task is to ensure the safety of the population, our employees and our clients,” the company said. - We will fully cooperate with the investigating authorities in the coming days. It would be inappropriate to comment on the situation until we have additional facts, since the investigation is at an early stage. "
This is getting out of hand
Posted by Usa_transportation on Sunday, May 31, 2020
Who is Bogdan Vechirko
Prison records in Hennepin County show that Bogdan Vechirko is 35 years old and was taken into custody at 20:58 on May 31. His address is given as Otsego, Minnesota. It is also known that he donated money to support the campaign of US President Donald Trump and the Republican National Committee, writes Heavy.
It is not known exactly what country the detainee is from, but according to media reports, Vechirko is a Ukrainian with roots in the Vinnitsa region, writes "Observer". Journalists even managed to find the man’s page on the social network Facebook, where he has many friends from Ukraine. But it is not yet clear whether it really belongs to the accused or to another person.
Also on the portal Go fund me a certain Alexander Lamukhin began raising funds in order to hire a lawyer for Vechirko. There is $ 50 in the account, now the ad is in a state of deactivation, and you can not donate money.
What happened at the rally
The crowd on the road suddenly parted, and a giant tanker truck drove into the road. The truck drove to the crowd, which had already managed to scatter. Then the protesters chased the truck down the street, eventually climbing onto it and pulling out the driver, they surrounded him.
“The truck driver was injured and taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. He is under arrest. It looks like none of the protesters were hurt, "a spokesman for the Minnesota Department of Public Safety wrote on Twitter.
Breaking News: At a Minneapolis protest a man in the semi truck plowed thru the crowd.
The protesters got the guy out of the truck & jumped him.
Police maced the crowd & got the driver.
It is believed the driver is in police custody.#minneapolisriots pic.twitter.com/a95gCfp5Q2
- ~ Marietta (@_MariettaDavis) May 2, 2017
Police eventually pulled Vechirko out of the crowd. Commissioner John Harrington said about 5000-6000 people were on the street when a truck drove there.
“It was one of the most dangerous things I've ever seen,” Harrington said.
Authorities announced: “The Minnesota State Patrol and the Criminal Investigation Bureau are jointly investigating what happened. The incident is being investigated as a criminal case. ”
A man named Zachary Donald wrote on Twitter: “Today I witnessed pure evil. Thousands and thousands of protesters peacefully marched through the streets, demanding #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd, and a truck drove into the crowd. Pray to the one to whom you pray for all of us. ”
Today I witnessed pure evil. Thousands and thousands of protestors were PEACEFULLY marching the streets to demand #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd and a gas truck came barreling through the crowd. Pray to whoever you pray to for us all. #BlackLivesMatterMinneapolis #blacklivesmatter pic.twitter.com/M4mjHROxD0
- Zachary Donald (@ZachDPfeil) May 2, 2017
The reaction of users of social networks
The Russian-speaking diaspora supported Vechirko, canceling that “the guy was just mistaken” and had no malicious intent. People referred to the fact that the road closure was postponed, and it happened earlier than the previous plan, so the detainee simply did not know that the road was closed. As an additional argument, people cite the fact that as a result of the incident, no one except the driver himself was injured.
“He was just trying to deliver the cargo from point A to point B. Don't judge strictly,” the users write.
Not the first detention
This is not the first offense of Vechirko.
He was previously accused of domestic violence. According to the victim, he committed acts “causing fears of bodily harm or death”. Court records indicate that in this case, he was eventually convicted only of hooliganism.
He was also accused of riding a snowmobile without a license, not fastened and without insurance.
Who is George Floyd
The protest was in memory of George Floyd, an African American from Minneapolis who died after a Minneapolis police officer strangled him with a knee. Officer Derek Chauvin was fired and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter; three other officers also lost their jobs. Protests and riots subsequently eruptedand in Minneapolis and across the country.
The Minnesota state governor said protests over the death of African-American George Floyd, spanning dozens of US cities, are already not related to murder, but provoked by visiting radicals.
Protests in Minneapolis sharply intensified in the evening of May 27when city police took action in response to looted and burned shops in the city, as well as fatal shooting at a protest venue.
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