Justice for Anthony: Tacoma police officer plows into crowd with squad car amid dispersing street race, 1 hurt

A release from the Tacoma Police Department read that while the police officer had tried to back up his SUV, he couldn't due to the ground and so 'fearing for his safety,' he 'drove forward'

                            Justice for Anthony: Tacoma police officer plows into crowd with squad car amid dispersing street race, 1 hurt
Police officer plows car through crowd at Tacoma street race (Twitter: @jasonjgauthier)

TACOMA, WASHINGTON - At least two people were injured after videos circulating on the  Internet show a Tacoma police officer "plow" his police cruiser through a crowd of pedestrians that were gathered around him on Saturday, January 23, 2021, state reports. 

What happened?

According to reports, this incident took place before 7 pm on Saturday night, January 23, after people were blocking the intersection as they stood watching cars "spinning in circles," as per what police had informed The News Tribune of Tacoma. A witness has also claimed that when the police cruiser had arrived, the crowd present had blocked the vehicle. Video of the incident raised fury online as the police cruiser is seen hitting people and according to ABC News, "running over at least one person." Cory Le told KTBS-TV, “He had tire marks all over his body. Belly out. His shoes were off. Honestly, it was like something out of a movie."

The police, according to Tacoma police spokesperson Wendy Haddow, were informed around 6 pm that there were street racers present. She also said that while the officer in the cruiser had used his bullhorn, the crowd had begun "pounding" on his windows. The spokesperson also added that one person had "sustained cuts" during the collision and was taken to hospital. Another person, Puyallup Police Capt. Dan Pashon told KCPQ-TV, was treated at a hospital but later released.

There is a video posted to Twitter about what happened prior to the incident. "Background: Tacoma police were responding to calls over this stunt driving in the street that shut down traffic. Such street gatherings have become common in the Pacific NW. The people mobbed one of the cop vehicles before he drove forward, hitting them," shared a user.



Who is the officer involved?

According to City Manager Elizabeth Pauli, the officer "involved" will be placed on leave and the Pierce County Force Investigation Team will deal with the case at hand. CNN reported that the officer (whose name is yet to be disclosed" was responding to the incident that had taken place on South 9th and Pacific Avenue. A release from the Tacoma Police Department said that when the officers had found the vehicles and "approximately 100" people at the intersection, they began to clear the area for "for the safety of those gathered and people trying to use the street." It further read that while the police officer had tried to back up his SUV, he couldn't due to the ground and so "fearing for his safety," he "drove forward striking one individual and may have impacted others," in order to get out of the "unsafe position." He called for medical aid after he was "at a point of safety." Haddow had said that the officer was "afraid they would break his glass," and that what had led him to speed away.  

Who was injured?

The videos that were taken from the incident circulated on Twitter with many identifying the injured as Anthony as #justiceforAnthony became a hashtag. "Tacoma police squad car #2815 CLEARLY RAN OVER AND A GROUP OF PEOPLE INCLUDING A NOW HOSPITALIZED KID NAMED ANTHONY #JUSTICEFORANTHONY DONT LET THIS SHIT DIE THEY GONNA HEAR US THIS TIME," wrote one user. "MAY HAVE IMPACTED OTHERS” B*TCH ITS IN THE VIDEO HE RAN OVER AND HIT MORE THAN THE ONE PERSON #justiceforanthony that is in the hospital. @TacomaPD WATCH ALL THE VIDEOS," wrote another one with pictures of the release by Tacoma Police Department. Yet another added, "Add this to the list we have a lot of multi-tasking to do to save America as best as we can #justiceforAnthony #policereform #Tacoma #FuckTheCorruptCops #America we can’t let this by past us warning the video is traumatizing"







The disturbing videos were taken from different angles by different people. "Footage from Tacoma tonight shows police SUV running over people. Like, over them. No warning given," another user added along with a video. "Tonight Tacoma Police squad car, ran over a group of car spectators,downtown Tacoma on Pacific ave around 6:30 p.m. Here’s a video from my personal snapchat," added another user. Many users took to the social media channel to express how traumatized they were from seeing the video. "I am not going to share the video of Tacoma police plowing through a crowd of people and running them over. I am horrified and traumatized from seeing it. I just want to say you cannot reform that. You need to tear it all down," wrote another user. 







The full video that's being posted can be seen below. "Here is full video of the Tacoma police plowing through a crowd and running over a person. They actually hit a f*ckload of people. Terrifying," wrote a user. Another added, "A deranged police officer drove through a crowd and tried to murder people in Tacoma. That's not "protect and serve." That "cop" needs to be arrested and charged with attempted murder."




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