The video, shot by protester Ethan Ketner, shows a DPD SUV through a crowd of protesters after some climbed onto the hood of the vehicle. After a few seconds, the car accelerates, knocking down some protesters and throwing others onto the hood.
At least one protester appears to have been left on the hood, hanging from the vehicle as it drives away, and then is thrown from it as the car drives away.
Detroit Mayor John Dachgan's director of media Mike Duggan declined to comment and forwarded all communication about this incident to the police department.
Detroit Police Chief James Craig addressed the incident at a press conference Monday, noting that investigators "did not even have 24 hours" in the investigation. Preliminarily, however, he defended the officers' actions by leaving the scene once they left the crowd.
"The officers did the right thing," he said. "They certainly left the scene and then, after they left to avoid further damage, the protesters left without further incident."
The video shows the police vehicle's rear window intact around the 14-second mark, but 30 seconds later, it appears to have a large hole. Craig said that at this point, the video analysis does not show what broke the rear window, but that there were reports that it was broken by a skateboard. He said the protest to remove the police was peaceful until protesters surrounded the car.
"We knew then that we should not put ourselves in a position where a group of criminals surrounded and attacked the car," he said. "In this case, they anticipated that they were simply blocking the path to redirect, but they didn't think they were going to have the reaction they got."
Craig added that the two officers in the car told investigators that they believed they were possibly being shot, prompting them to flee the scene. No officers, either in the car or patrolling the protests, were injured, he said.
Ketner said the protests had been peaceful until four cars blocked the protesters' route, leading them to surround the vehicles until officers cleared the road.
"Just as the four of us passed, the driver turned around and started moving toward us," Ketner told CNN on Monday. "I can't explain how or why he thought it was a good idea, but that was what he decided to do. There were other vehicles down the Verner (highway) and if they tried to claim they did it (for) us, they could have sent another officer (by the way) ".
Ketner said police did not order protesters to leave before the vehicle accelerated through the crowd.
"After this, we had our medical team, hospital volunteers from across the state come out, take all the injured people, examine them, repair them, and from that moment on, everyone who was not injured was able to leave. another hour, hour and a half back to the park, "he said.