moped crash

No Charges for Officer Involved in Moped Crash: Prosecutors

State investigators determined the officer did not directly strike Jhamal Gonsalves or his moped on Oct. 18, as witnesses have said, according to Attorney General Peter Neronha

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Prosecutors in Rhode Island will not file criminal charges against a Providence police officer involved in a moped crash last year that left a 24-year-old man in a coma and sparked two nights of protests that occasionally turned violent in the state capital.

Attorney General Peter Neronha said Thursday that state investigators determined the officer did not directly strike Jhamal Gonsalves, who is Black, or his moped on Oct. 18, as witnesses have said.

Neronha said his staff also determined the officer involved wasn't acting recklessly prior to the crash.

"This is not a reckless driving case," he said. "Is it a tragic case? Yes. Might it be negligence? Yes."

Gonsalves' family met with Neronha's office prior to Thursday's announcement and said they would comment later.

Gonsalves had been among hundreds of people riding dirt bikes, ATVs and other street-illegal vehicles through the city on Oct. 18.

Neronha and other law enforcement officials said Thursday that video evidence and their accident reconstruction analysis shows the police cruiser struck a stop sign, which then struck Gonsalves on the head while he was on his moped.

Previously released videos show an officer pulling Gonsalves away from the moped and checking for a pulse.

An officer also administering the opioid reversal drug naloxone, mistakenly thought Gonsalves was overdosing.

Gonsalves spent two months in a coma and is recovering in a rehabilitation facility, his family has said.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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