Tens of thousands of people have signed an online petition asking for charges to be brought up against a truck driver who was caught up in a highway protest on a road that should have been barricaded in Minnesota last week.
As of 2 p.m. on June 8, a total of 27,326 people have signed an online petition called “Charge and Convict the Semi Truck Driver” asking Minnesota authorities to bring up charges against tanker truck driver Bogdan Vechirko.
Tanker Truck Driver Surrounded By Protesters After Officials Fail To Barricade Roadway
As many will remember, on Sunday, May 31, Vechirko’s truck encountered protesters on the Interstate 35 West Bridge in Minneapolis after authorities failed to properly close off the roadway to traffic.
Vechirko’s truck was soon surrounded by protesters and he was pulled from the cab. He suffered cuts to his face and had his wallet and phone stolen. He was protected from some protesters by other protesters and was taken into police custody without serious injury on suspicion of assault. He was later released without charges as authorities continue to investigate.
Minnesota Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington said “He was on I-94 already and he turned onto 35 before we got barricades or trucks there to block of his access to 35 … We don’t have any information that makes this seem like this was an intentional act. It wasn’t that he went around the barricades to get to the protest.”
Vechirko told authorities he did not wish to pursue charges against those who assaulted him.
Petition Calls For Charges Against Trucker
The petition calls on the Minneapolis Police Department, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, and Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman, among others, to file charges against Vechirko.
You can read the unedited petition in full below.
so on May 31st we had a peaceful protest from the US BANK STADIUM to 35W bridge until a white a supremacist came in with his semi gas truck and ploughed through us. and no the highway wasn’t open but rather closed for the protest. It was the most traumatic experience of my life and I’ll never forget the ones who helped me when I was in panic. this could’ve turned into a mass killing but it was a miracle that no one was hurt. and the fact that he planned all this and was seeing through to it was just inhuman and disgusting. we read his texts from his phone and this was clearly premeditated. what he did was terrorism and he should be charged for it! if a black man or a Muslim man did this he would be long gone and convicted and the media would blast him as a terrorist ASAP. they didn’t even handcuff him and were protecting him but it’s okay to do that to black people and even kill them? “peaceful protestors are being teargassed, run over, and beat up before being unlawfully arrested, but this guy–WHO DROVE INTO A CROWD–was released without being charged bc he was “frustrated” by traffic? Sounds about white.” And that’s white privilege people. I demand that we come together to combat racial injustice in this broken justice system and that they treat everyone with equality.
The petition does not specifically name what charges that protesters want brought up against Vechirko.
You can click here to view the petition.