A Correctional Officer Who Drove Through Anti-ICE Protesters Is Placed on Leave

The Rhode Island attorney general and state police are investigating a video of a correctional officer driving through a wave of protesters.


A correctional officer who was videotaped driving a truck through a crowd of anti-Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) protesters has reportedly been placed on leave.

On Wednesday night, Jewish protesters led by anti-ICE activist group Never Again Action stood outside the Donald W. Wyatt Detention Facility in Central Falls, Rhode Island. Organizer Amy Anthony told NPR, the group was "protesting the prison's contract with ICE and the inhumane treatment of these people by ICE."

Newsweek reports that the protesters blocked the entrance to the facility by linking arms. As they were demonstrating, a black truck slowly approached the protesters. After honking the horn, the driver continued through the line of people. Protesters can be heard screaming and seen jumping on the back of the truck to urge the driver to stop in a video of the incident, which was shared online:

Two people were taken to the hospital as a result.

Protesters tweeted that they were pepper-sprayed by other guards following the confrontation with the truck.

Since news of the story broke, Capt. Thomas Woodworth, the suspected driver and a correctional officer at the detention center, has been placed on administrative leave.

A Thursday statement from the Rhode Island Attorney General's Office said that the office will work with the Rhode Island State Police to conduct an investigation into the events. "Peaceful protest is a fundamental right of all Americans; it is unfortunate last night's situation unfolded as it did," it read.

NEXT: Hong Kong's Market Is Providing Gas Masks and Protest Gear Despite Government Crackdown

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  1. My first question is were the protesters blocking entrance/exit from the parking lot for prison employees/officials.

    Personally, I don't consider protests where people are blocked from going about their business to be peaceful, even if they are doing so in a non-violent manner.

    1. Civil disobedience, even non-violent, sometimes does interfere with the "status quo." Example range from the Boston Tea Party to picket lines of striking workers. When such protests can clearly be seen as interfering with essential activities, then the correct thing to do is call the cops -- not run them over.

      1. This. Amazing how simple the solution is and how long it's been known. course I'm no longer sure the cops wouldn't end up doing the same thing. Racing in with SWAT APC, running over the first few protesters, and then shooting a few with the excuse of 'they were threatening'.

      2. There were apparently cops on the scene who did not do anything about any aspect of this incident

        1. Yep. Was there. The organizers of the protest specifically instructed people that being part of blocking the parking lot entrance could get them arrested, so those blocking the entrance were apparently prepared for that. The police on the scene decided not to do that. I can only guess that they thought it would be a better strategy to just wait it out (there had been a protest earlier in the year where people were arrested; perhaps the police thought the publicity on that hadn't looked good). Still, if the police won't do what you want, I think there are a few other plans a sensible person might consider before rushing to the running people over plan. Like maybe recognizing the police didn't have a terrible idea with their waiting it out plan? I'm sure the Wyatt is not happy at the press this incident has gottent them.

          1. Since the police didn’t beat the dirty leftist hippies, this guy did the smart thing in the alternative.

            I just hope running over those dirty hippies didn’t hurt his truck. It looks like a nice one. If it did, I can only hope the courts for ce the dirty hippies to have his truck fixed.

            1. Our thoughts and prayer for the truck ... and his driver.

      3. Impeding someone's path is an inherently violent act.
        The proper response may be one thing or another, but the initiation of force resides with those who chose to impede

        1. Jesus Christ you people and your nonsense.

          Impeding is violence? And running people down for "impeding" is probably OK? What about just nuking them from orbit.

          Things are not true just because they are simple. The NAP is horseshit. Google it. Google will tell you why it's horseshit.

          1. YOU PEOPLE?!

            1. Ps - google told me to vote for Hillary so I'd take what google says with a pinch of salt

              1. Yet more unassailable wisdom from Google, then.

          2. So somebody physically denying you entrance to saaay your house wouldn't essentially be using force against you?

            Bullshit. Not allowing somebody to pass is a minor form of force being used against you. That probably means it would be too much to saaay bust a cap in their ass, but to force your way through... Not unreasonable IMO.

          3. I'd love to watch someone run your faggot ass over with a truck and rid the world of at least one Okie retard. Few would object.

        2. If one is on foot (a pedestrian), then, in most all jurisdictions, one does have the right to continue on, even if it involves "shouldering by" the one who is blocking your path. However, using a motor vehicle for that purpose, can be called, and has been called, "assault" and sometimes "assault with intent to injure," or some-such. There is a huge difference.

          1. Carve out for filthy hippies.

      4. He didn't say that he endorsed driving through them. I happen to agree that blocking someone's path is not peaceful protest.

        1. What about a sit-in?

          1. A sit-in is still a sit-in whether it's violent or not. I don't think NAP violations are a consideration when defining a sit-in.

            I have no strong feelings about sit-ins, per se. If said sit-in is blocking someone's path, preventing them from going freely about their business then it's probably bad, unless it's specifically stopping someone from directly violating someone else's liberty, but then it would be in defense of liberty, and that's okay. But wait! Aren't those ICE stormtroopers literally nazis literally killing those poor brown people?! In general I have no sympathy for government thugs but I also have no sympathy for those lying about the situation for whatever reason.

    2. Yeah kinda of a form of kidnapping. But this guy is also wrong. There is a right away to get them removed without driving a car into them. They should all be locked up.

      1. It is important for the protesters to acknowledge, and accept, that they may face civil charges for such actions if found guilty of creating some kind of "nuisance," and, traditionally, such actions often result in a small fine or a "night in jail." More important, of course, is to remember what the RI Attorney General's office said: "'...Peaceful protest is a fundamental right of all Americans..."'

        1. Blocking streets is not peaceful protest.

          1. Actually it is. In fact, it's about as peaceful as you can get and still call it a protest.

            1. Actually its not. It’s preventing someone from going where they are allowed too. It’s a passive use of force.

              It is permitted to run them over.

        2. I'd rather live by the words of Jeremy Pivens, "Weren't not gonna to protest!".

          1. +1 meat tossers!

      2. The great state of Tennessee has given protections to drivers who have to run idiots over

    3. I agree. I'm trying to find the video now to see for myself. But, so far from what I've read, I personally don't think he did anything wrong. I know the story says there were two "injured" but maybe those injuries came from hitting his truck.
      Even people who are on strike need to let "scabs" cross the picket line.

    4. Then you are a fascist. You don't run over people with a truck because you don't like what they are saying no matter how much you dislike the speech. I hope someone runs a truck over you next time, asshole.

      1. What if you dont care what they are saying, you just haveto get to the ER, or dont want to be mobbed?

        1. The Narrative will deem you a FASCIST forevermore.

      2. He didn't endorse the driving through people, just acknowledged that the protest was not peaceful.

      3. Aaand someone just got triggered!
        Play stupid games (impede the lawful progress of people in a public area) Win stupid prizes (get run over). That technique worked really well for your comrade who went up against a Caterpillar bulldozer, didn't it?

      4. "You don’t run over people with a truck because you don’t like what they are saying no matter how much you dislike the speech."

        1. I didn't endorse running them over.

        2. The prison guard didn't run them over because he didn't like what they were saying. He ran them over because he wanted to leave work and go home, and they were blocking the only exit from the parking lot.

      5. I run people over if they get in my way and try to illegally imprison me. Plus, dirty hippies are like barnacles. Best to just scrape them off when they try to attach themselves.

    5. How about when the people blocking individuals from going about their business claim they aren't "protesting", but just "doing their jobs"?

  2. Let's see if I can anticipate some of the comments here.

    The protesters were trespassing, therefore it's totally fine to run them over with a truck.

    The protesters hate America because they don't believe in the rule of law. Why don't they go back to where they came from?

    Where were they protesting Obama's deportations? They just hate Trump.

    These protesters are the REAL racists here, because argle-bargle.

    1. The story clearly says that he drove slowly. I haven't seen the video yet, so I can't make any judgments. But the story also said that the protestors were damaging his property. If the video shows him driving at 2MPH, i don't think he did anything wrong. If those injuries came about because the protestors broke their hand from hitting his truck, I also don't think that he did anything wrong. But, without seeing the actual video, it's very difficult to pass judgment.

      1. He crept through. He didn’t do anything wrong. Every protester there should have been arrested though.

    2. In my case, at least, you're wrong. The guy driving the truck is plainly a dimwit who should probably be selling vacuum cleaners rather than working in any law enforcement capacity.

      That's not to say that the protestors were not breaking the law. They likely were (I don't know enough to know for sure). But driving into them, even slowly, is dumb and unnecessary.

      I suppose I would likely make an exception for a life-threatening situation (e.g. an ambulance with a serious emergency) but this doesn't look like one of those.

      1. Ok, so it’s ok for them to effectively imprison him there?

        Nah. In reality he was being generous by not just rolling over them.

    3. Seem to have knocked out the big ones. Want to bet that if the roles were reversed (some conservative protestors, say, protesting PC culture at Google run over by a Google car) the comments* would be the opposite?

      *not all, there are some exceptions.

      1. Conservatives would have let his truck go by and not damaged it.

        1. Yup. Because they're not rabble.

    4. Ah, you beat me to it. As I said the other day, one of the writers here should post a story about Trump advocating eating live babies just for the fun of seeing the usual suspects here defend cannibalism.

      1. I mean, if it’s consensual, I don’t really see a problem (yes i know your example was trump and live babies)

      2. You're missing the point if you think it's all about Trump, the man, the narcissist, etc. Plenty of us are straight up pissed at him when he does something stupid like overrule his cabinet with executive orders (like steamrolling DeVos on the Special Olympics just because she's doing the job she was appointed to do). It's not so much about him as it is the histrionic reaction he gets from the TDSers.

    5. - chemjeff hasn't seen the video, just assumes the absolute worst

      - chemjeff invokes the absolutist lawbertarian big state straw man

      - chemjeff thinks selectively protesting immigration policy and practice under the Trump administration is just dandy, and criticizing Saint Obama et al for the same is just awful and stupid

      - chemjeff might be onto something with the "real racists" bit, but his reasoning ("argle-bargle"?) is lacking

    6. It has nothing to do with whether or not the protesters were trespassing. They were preventing the prison guard from leaving work. Therefore that had effectively kidnapped him.

  3. I know I should probably feel more compassion for protesters. But blocking traffic and then acting surprised when road rage ensues... Even illegal immigrants have the sense not to do that

    1. Road rage? I don't think so. Take a look and judge for yourself.

      1. The speed with which the truck comes up to those sitting on the ground - who are looking away at that time - and then keeps the wheels going forward, that officer should be charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

        If those were pedestrians walking along the sidewalk at that moment - and one of them was armed, a case could be made that shooting the driver was an act of self-defense.

        1. You're hallucinating. He pulled up, honked his horn, CAME TO A COMPLETE STOP, and then very slowly started to pull forward AFTER THE PROTESTERS STARTED POUNDING ON HIS TRUCK. They had plenty of time to get out of his way, and apparently all of them did. They initiated confrontation twice, first by blocking the road, and then by pounding on his truck. The driver did nothing criminal or unjustified. He just tried to peacefully go about his business, and then tried to get away from a violent mob after they attacked.

  4. It's like Americans have become so stupid/enraged, that we no longer even know how to deal with civil disobedience/protest.

    Blaming the correction officer is I presume just the usual way to excuse the failure of the higher-ups

  5. A civilian drives into a crowd of protesters and receives 10 life sentences. A LEO drives his car into a crowd of protesters and receives 2 weeks of paid vacation.

    1. Yep. That's the difference between killing someone and hurting no one. Well spotted.

  6. Intentionally physically detaining someone from going about their business is not peaceful and not a legitimate aspect of the right to protest even if you do not like their job. The protesters were the agressors.

    1. If that's the case they should be arrested. Barring an emergency (which this doesn't seem like), there is no need to drive through them.

      1. From the Newsweek story there were cops on the scene who were not doing anything about the incident at all. This is mentioned by one of the protesters who complained th the cops did not act when they were pepper sprayed by other officers from the facility.

      2. Perhaps a better way than driving th through them was available, but the protesters are not victims. They are not blameless in what happened. They were the instigators.

        1. The protesters are literally "outlaws", people who have abandoned the law. They should this receive no protection from it. You want wild West, you get wild West.

          1. The law was apparently on hand and not working to defuse the situation. An escalation by the parties aggressor against should not have been unexpected.

          2. Does this doctrine apply to everyone who is accused of breaking the law? So no due process?

            1. Does due process eliminate the right to self defense?

              Does a burglar have due process rights with respect to the actions of the owner of the home he is robbing?

              1. Self-defense applies when you are actually in danger.

                1. Self defense applies when someone is violating your rights.

                2. Do you think kidnapping victims have no right to self defense against their kidnappers? The protesters were preventing the guard from leaving work and going home. They had effectively kidnapped him.

      3. But they were protesting something these people like: rounding up brown people and putting them in cages. That makes running them down with a truck sort of justifiable, don't you think.

        Libertarianism. Freedom for me; fuck you!

        1. You are a fucking retarded twat.

      4. Seems a rather statist attitude, metazoan

      5. He has no duty to allow them to imprison him there. He gave them every opportunity to let him leave in peace.

        If anything, he went easy on them.

    2. the protestors weren't 'physically detaining' anyone. The guy in the truck was running them over

      1. Intentionally blocking someone from leaving the scene is detaining them. It is an aggressive act.

        1. No. They were sitting on a sidewalk. It may be trespassing. It may be obstructing public property or whatever that legal term is in RI. But it is NOT 'detaining' anyone.

          What the driver did in response was brandish a deadly weapon for the purpose of causing fear and panic. That reaction is so disproportionate to the supposed 'reason' he might claim for doing that, that he should be charged with a crime.

          1. They were sitting there for the express purpose of blocking the exit right of way. They were preventing people inside the facility from leaving the place. That is detaining.

          2. They were engaged in cry bully behavior and bear responsibility as the instigators of the incident. They are not victims.

          3. Irony is that the protestors want freedom of movement for people, by which they were restricting the free movement of people.
            Be careful when picking a fight with bare knuckles with a guy wearing 6000 pounds of body armor.

            1. No, the irony is people polluting a libertarian board with comments that support fucking COPS driving over peaceful protesters.

              1. Again, intentionally preventing people from going about their business is not peaceful.

                1. Neither is driving over them.

                  This is the problem with the Aggression Principle, which is a better name for what you advocate.

                  Someone could flick you in the earlobe, and you'd thus be justified in blowing them up with a rocket launcher. It's just so dumb.

                  1. A stranger flicking you on the earlobe is legally battery. It actually can be prosecuted as a crime.

                    If someone insists on doing that to you, you do have a right to defend yourself. From the description of what happened, he gave them ample opportunity and warning to make way.

                    1. See, I told you. Fucking dumb.

                    2. There are legit proportionality issues... But driving through tools at 2 miles an hour, which could not possibly hurt anybody, seems proportional to me. Note he got through fine and nobody got hurt in any real way.

              2. Tony, he might very well have been trying trying to make it to a posh dinner or try on time. You would have done worse in that case.

              3. Derpy derp I think I'm the smartest rube in my dipshit Okie town and dedicated my life to indulging my butthurt because everyone called me a fag. You really are a fucking inane retarded dipshit.

      2. One of the tweets quoted from the protestors described what the were doing as "blocking".

        1. Like the China tank guy. Even the Chinese didn't run him down.

          Lately there's been a lot of people around here justifying violence against people pretty much because they have politics you don't like. This place should just close up shop.

          1. The actions of the protestors are objectionable because they were unjustly preventing other people from going about their business. What one thinks about their political goals is irrevalent, I would find these actions disagreeable.

            What would you say if protestors prevented a worker from.leaving an abortion clinic?

            1. I wouldn't say that law enforcement should run them over with a truck.

              1. It is not clear he was acting as law enforcement when this happened rather than just a guy who wanted to leave.

                1. He was entering the parking lot, not leaving it, when he ran over the protesters.

                  1. Then that was a something I did not see in the article.

                    However, that would suggest they were preventing him from going to work, which is not any better.

                    1. "You'll be proud of me boss. I was going to be late for work, but I ran over some people in order to make it."

                    2. Tony, beating a dirty hippie is always the right call.

              2. You should be run over with a truck just to rid the world of such a fucking tiresome one dimensional retarded hick.

      3. You are a blatant liar.

  7. When I saw this on the news this morning I was kinda cheering for the guy. Your right to protest isn’t more important than my right to go where I like.

  8. Do not stop.

    Honk your horn, rev your engine and proceed at a slow speed. Say, over and over that you will not be stopping.

    If they start attacking the vehicle, accelerate.

    They have pulled too many people from their cars and beaten them, too many windows have been smashed. And too many leftist judges and politicians have let attackers go.

    Do not stop. The only good leftist...

  9. Looks like everyone got what they wanted:

    - The protesters picked a fight and proved that prison guards are violent and clumsy
    - The guard achieved the intimidation he wanted and got to work

    Lock them all up!

  10. "We’re putting our bodies on the line ..."
    Yeah, well then expect to get run over once in a while, unless putting your body on the line is a rhetorical rather than actual action.
    This is just a variant performance art, linking arms, chaining one's self to something, that is little different than a heckler's veto.
    So whose 'speech' trumps: the kumbaya crowd speaking through their actions or the civil servant speaking through pushing his way through the crowd to go to work.

  11. Performance art with a pickup truck. Protected first amendment activity.
    Peaceful protesting is standing on the sidewalk, not in a traffic lane.
    Peaceful protest is holding a sign making a (hopefully coherent) political point, not vandalizing a truck that is involved in performance art.
    In the sixties, "peaceful" protesters expected to get hit in the head by a police baton. Today's lefties are pussies. Whining, crybaby pussies.

  12. So, while I don't agree with what the driver did at all, a few things to note:

    1. Protesting at night tends to be a bad idea, shit is more likely to go down and you can get undesirable elements who'll attempt to use your movement as smoke cover (see Ferguson). It also tends to make the people being protested against more on edge, which goes to point 2...

    2. ICE and their contractors have had 3 or 4 violent attacks in the last week or so, and while they've been relatively minor and not highly reported on by a completely non-biased media /sarc, I guarantee you those ICE personnel are being notified daily, just like cops do, about the newest potential threat, no matter how minor. So these guys, who aren't cops, and probably joined this job thinking it would be safe but still give them a badge and "authority", are now being told they're being targeted by nutjobs on the extremist left. Que the overreactions by guards.

    3. As some folks have mentioned above, there have been a good number of cases where people have been dragged from their cars and beaten. And the protestors were blocking the entrance, which again, as mentioned above, is a big nono. They aren't innocent victims here, no matter how they want to paint themselves

    1. On 2 and 3, this wasn't the first protest by this group, and they'd been there for hours. If the prison staff thought the "Never Again" protesters were a danger to get violent, they were either paying absolutely no attention whatsoever or even stupider than prison guard stereotypes would lead one to expect (the police don't seem to have considered the protest any kind of threat, and they're not exactly known for underestimating such things).

      1. you're right, I didn't see that this group had been there before. And like I said, I don't agree with the guard doing what he did either, I definitely think he should get some sort of assault charge thrown at him (I know it's not likely, but a man can dream)

    2. it was bound to happen sooner or latter and I'm surprised not sooner. there have been several protest stopping traffic on California highways which I'm amazed no one ran them over yet.

  13. I don't want to see a single goddamn post condoning the attempted murder of protesters because "rules must be followed, comrade."

    Oh, literally the first post and every other one below it.

    Libertarianism. It's for white people!

    1. I’m curious what you’d say if a group of people were peacefully protesting immigration by blocking immigrants trying to cross the border.

    2. Tony
      August.16.2019 at 3:15 pm
      I don’t want to see a single goddamn post condoning the attempted murder of protesters because “rules must be followed, comrade.”

      Oh, literally the first post and every other one below it.

      Libertarianism. It’s for white people!

      "Attempted murder"? Have you seen the video?

      What the fuck does this have to do with skin color? Most of the people coming over the border illegally are white, but it's immaterial: You're the one obsessed with identarian bullshit like that. Legal and illegal immigration are conflated deliberately to make emotional arguments, but if you want to have a serious discussion about policy, i.e. what would be the best, most mutually beneficial, most humane etc, then go right ahead.

      1. You're supposed to be people who distrust law enforcement and promote maximum individual freedom.

        1. Law enforcement officers should have the same rights as any other citizen. Not more rights, but not less. Is that not simple enough for you to understand?

          1. Perhaps too simple.

            Why do I have to spend so much time trying to not interact with people sucking cop cock and Republican cock when there are so many other places on the internet to do that?

            1. Yes, perhaps you are just too simple.

            2. Tony I imagine you get all wet down there for a fit man in uniform. Eagerly awaiting the use of his ‘nightstick’ on you.

            3. Yes you are simple. And a fucking a retarded clown.

    3. Tony, you’re in luck, as no attempted murder took place here. Just dirty hippies who would t get out of the way. If he wanted to kill them, it would have been easy. He didn’t.

    4. Tonyism! It's for retarded hick faggots who hilariously think they're intelligent and enlightened by saying "white people" as a pejorative thinking they're scoring points. Fact is if a fucking faggot rube like Tony showed up in a big city and tried to act down with his precious people of color they'd call him a faggot ass cracker and laugh in his face. Come to Philly, faggot. I'll give you a tour of the North Side you fucking retarded faggot rube.

  14. Now, imagine if it was a Tesla instead of a pickup truck, and the protesters were wearing MAGA hats.

    1. Remember when there was a kid with a MAGA hat who was eternally traumatized by a drum being beaten near his stupid little face?

      I would think "Fuck, the MAGA idiots are gonna ride this one until the heat death of the universe."

      1. No, I don't remember that. I do remember a very poised and mature young man remaining calm and discouraging his peers from being confrontational in the face of extreme provocation by Black and Native American racist demonstrators.

        1. Complete the thought for shit's sake.

          "...which was the greatest injustice in the history of mankind with the possible exception of the Holocaust."

          1. That Paul Revere and the Raiders are not in the Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame?

            1. Oh my God are you like the world's saddest PR person?

              1. Tony, you’re lying piece of shit. Not capable of even a shred of intellectual honesty.

                God rink your Drano. And don’t ever try to block my truck. It has over 400 HP and I don’t back off like the guy in the video.

              2. You've never been in a black neighborhood in your life have you, you fucking dipshit backwater Okie twerp. Come up dude and you can try your gay ass I Love Brown People act in a real town where they eat faggots like you for lunch. You fucking retard.

                1. And they don’t eat him in the way he would like either.

  15. It is not peaceful if you deny people freedom of movement.... Ya, just wait until the Democrats outlaw guns and gun owners do tis his with an AR-15 on their back..... Those guys will be arrested or there will be a shootout and they will be called the BAD GUYS....

  16. These Jews are seriously insulting to our faith and I highly doubt they're observant. I can't even begin to imagine how depraved they have to be to use "never again" as a rallying cry to defend deporting people who break the law to enter our country. Yeah, really strong parallel to having your rights as a citizen stripped, your property confiscated, being forcibly corralled into ghettos, and then systematically exterminated. Totally analogous.

    1. But they're EXACTLY the same thing!

      And also, we have concentration camps! Because putting people in holding facilities temporarily where they're being fed 3 squares a day is the same as working people to death on starvation rations...

  17. Violating someone's right to freely travel is an act of aggression against a person.

    This guy resisted the aggression against him with minimal use of defensive force. He didn't come screaming through at speed, he crept along slowly providing time for his assailants to cease their aggression against his natural right of free travel.

    1. +1000

    2. Violating someone’s right to freely travel is an act of aggression against a person.

      Huh. So now we're coming around to the open borders position. I knew it would happen sooner or later.

      1. You are one stupid Canadian pedophile.

  18. Lord help any dirty hippies that ever get in my way! I won't be quite as nice as this guy methinks.

    1. Calling the border guards who are getting in the way of peaceful migrants "dirty hippies" is giving them credit they don't deserve – most self-identified hippies are nice people in my experience, even when they look like they've been sleeping rough for a while.

  19. "Since news of the story broke, Capt. Thomas Woodworth, the suspected driver and a correctional officer at the detention center, has been placed on administrative leave."

    Reporters should avoid this euphemistic bureaucratic term "administrative leave", which is designed to obfuscate, and call it what it is – a paid vacation.

    Other terms in a similar vein:

    • "affordable housing" (referring to government-subsidized housing)
    • "executive session" (referring to a secret meeting)
    • "invest/investment" (referring to new taxes)

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