An independent investigation is underway after a Tacoma Police Department officer struck at least one pedestrian with his patrol car while trying to clear a crowded scene.
The Tacoma Police Department in Tacoma, Washington is investigating an incident involving a police officer and several people who were run over by the officer’s vehicle.
On Saturday night (Jan. 24) justly before 7 p.m., Tacoma Police were called to the intersection of 9th Street and Pacific Avenue in the downtown area after they received reports of street races. When police arrived, dozens of people were crowding around the intersection, which causes traffic issues. After a fire truck passed through the area without issue, the crowd died down for a bit but people were still crowding the intersection. According to video footage from the scene, that’s when a police car was spotted ramming through the crowd.
9th and Pacific Ave in Tacoma pic.twitter.com/C76iq2Eimw
— Jason Gauthier (@jasonjgauthier) January 24, 2021
In the video, we can get a lay of the scene at the intersection. A crowd of people appears to bang on windows and surround the police car in question. Moments later, the police car slightly reverses before the police officer speeds up and rams the vehicle into a group of four to five people. The disturbing footage also shows the vehicle driving over something or somebody before we catch a glimpse of a person on the ground being run over.
After driving a short distance away from the chaotic scene, the police officer immediately got out and reported the incident. According to police spokeswoman Wendy Haddow, the police used his bullhorn to address the crowd before they began to bang on his windows. Haddow also claims that the officer feared for his safety, which caused him to accelerate the vehicle in order to get to safety.
City manager Elizabeth Pauli says the officer was put on leave immediately. She also says that the case will be turned over to the Pierce County Force Investigation Team. According to the Tacoma Police Department’s statement, only one person was taken to the hospital due to the injuries from the incident.
“While trying to extricate himself from an unsafe position, the officer drove forward striking one individual and may have impacted others,” Tacoma Police said. “The officer stopped at a point of safety and called for medical aid. One person was transported to an area hospital. That person’s condition is, at this time, unknown.”
Luckily only one person was taken to the hospital due to the injuries from the incident. I’m sure the city will be looking at civil suits.