Here's the summary of what happened Saturday night after a Tacoma, Washington, police officer used his cruiser to plow through a crowd of people:
Tacoma officer responded to an illegal street race in downtown Tacoma.
The crowd swarmed the police cruiser.
The police warned the crowd surrounding the vehicle.
The officer appeared to panic to evade the crowd and struck a group of people.
Tacoma Police are handing off the investigation to the Pierce County Force Investigation Team.
A Tacoma, Washington, police cruiser plowed through a group of people after responding to a report of street racing in the downtown district.
The 42-second video shows at least 100 people at an illegal street racing event around South 900 Block of Pacific Avenue. At the beginning of the clip, dense white smoke can be seen as street racers perform donut maneuvers in the middle of the intersection.
Tacoma News Tribune interviewed "Mark," an eyewitness of the incident, and is one of the bystanders who shot the video. He said at least "five to six cars spinning in circles on South 9th Street between the intersections of Court A and Pacific Avenue" before the police cruiser arrived.
Traffic in the area came to a standstill as the street racers performed donuts in the intersection. Mark said a firetruck initially tried to break up the illegal gathering but everyone regrouped.
When the police cruiser arrived on the scene, Mark said, "A lot of people swarmed in that direction (of the police car)." They intended to block him."
The officer laid on his bullhorn, revved his engine, and backed up in the attempt to disperse the crowd who had surrounded his vehicle. He then shifted the vehicle forward and stepped on the gas, hitting numerous people. A couple of other views of the incident are shown below.
Tacoma police spokeswoman, Officer Wendy Haddow, said reports of street racers in the downtown district began pouring in around the evening. She said at least 100 folks were in attendance at the unlawful gathering.
Haddow said the officer who arrived on the scene panicked when the crowd attempted to surround his vehicle.
"He was afraid they would break his glass," she said. That prompted him to speed out of the scene for his safety.
Haddow said one person who was struck sustained a laceration in the collision and was transported to a local hospital.
City Manager Elizabeth Pauli told The Tribune that the officer involved has been placed on leave. She said the case will be turned over to the Pierce County Force Investigation Team.
"The most important thing to know is we're very concerned of any injuries this evening," Pauli said. She told the local newspaper that at least one person was transported to the hospital but conditions are unknown at the moment.
Pauli said she is very concerned about police officers using deadly force. Once the investigation is complete, she said she'll take appropriate action if needed.
Following the incident, Tacoma Police released a statement:
"At approximately 6:19 p.m. this evening, South Sound 911 received numerous reports of an incident occurring at the intersection of South 9th and Pacific Avenue in Tacoma. There were multiple vehicles and approximately 100 people present blocking the intersection when officers arrived on scene. Tacoma Police officers responding to the location began clearing the intersection of vehicles and people for the safety of those gathered and people trying to use the street.
"During the operation, a responding Tacoma police vehicle was surrounded by the crowd. People hit the body of the police vehicle and its windows as the officer was stopped in the street. The officer, fearing for his safety, tried to back up, but was unable to do so because of the crowd. The officer had his lights and sirens activated.
"While trying to extricate himself from an unsafe position, the officer drove forward striking one individual and may have impacted others. 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.
"Tacoma Police Department has contacted the Pierce County Force Investigation Team (PCFIT) and turned the investigation over to them to conduct an independent investigation of this incident."
Is this what happens when mainstream media make it their agenda to formulate a narrative that inspires citizens to disrespect the police? It will be interesting to see how Biden and AOC respond to this.