CENTRAL FALLS, R.I. (CBS/AP) — A captain at a Rhode Island detention center has resigned after a truck drove at a group protesting federal immigration policies. The Donald W. Wyatt Detention Facility in Central Falls said Friday that Thomas Woodworth left his position while an investigation continues.
Two people were injured Wednesday night outside the center that is used by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, with one person reported to be seriously hurt. The Jewish youth movement Never Again Action says 64-year-old Jerry Belair, of Warren, suffered a broken leg and internal bleeding and was being evaluated at a hospital for a possible back injury.
A video posted by the group on social media shows a black pickup that protesters say was operated by a corrections officer driving up to an entrance blocked by demonstrators. The vehicle stops before again moving forward.
Protesters surround the truck, screaming and chanting: “The whole world is watching! The whole world is watching!”
Woodworth was placed on leave shortly after Wednesday’s incident. Investigators have not identified Woodworth as the driver of the truck, though CBS station WPRI learned he was behind the wheel.
“Captain Thomas Woodworth resigned from his position at the Donald W. Wyatt Detention Facility on Friday, August 16, 2019,” the facility said in a statement Friday afternoon. “The incident which occurred on August 14 remains under active investigation by the Rhode Island State Police and under internal investigation by the Wyatt.”
Democratic Attorney General Peter Neronha said in an earlier statement that it was unfortunate and that his office was gathering facts.
“I share the outrage Rhode Islanders are feeling about the incident depicted in the video at the Wyatt Detention Center. Our state and our nation were built on the idea that everyone has a right to express their opinion publicly and peacefully,” Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo said on Twitter.
U.S. Rep. David Cicilline, also a Democrat, tweeted that he found video of the standoff “very disturbing.”
“The right of a free people to protest their government is fundamental to our democracy,” Cicilline said, urging Wyatt officials to fully cooperate with the investigation.
Never Again Action said in a statement that about 300 people had gathered at the prison and about 30 protesters had blocked entrances to the facility for several hours leading up to the confrontation with the truck driver.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)