Detroit police say officer who drove through protesters was trying to ‘escape’

Detroit police said Monday that an officer who was seen on camera striking roughly a dozen protesters with a police cruiser was attempting to escape a crowd that it said had turned violent.

Video of the incident posted on social media shows the cruiser with an unidentified officer behind the wheel striking numerous protesters and accelerating rapidly after at least one person became stuck on the cruiser’s hood. Other protesters were seen attempting to stop the cruiser physically while others yelled at the driver.

A spokesperson for the Detroit Police Department told The Detroit News that the cruiser’s rear window had been “busted out” by demonstrators.

“The officer tried to escape,” the spokesperson said.

Damage to the police cruiser as described by the department is not seen or heard in the video before the first protesters are struck by the vehicle.