2 injured after police car drives through crowd at race

West

Tacoma Police and other law enforcement officers stand in an intersection near the site of a car crash Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021, in downtown Tacoma, Wash. At least one person was injured when a police car plowed through a crowd of people Saturday night who were watching a downtown street race, the Tacoma News-Tribune reported. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

TACOMA, Wash. (NewsNation Now) — At least two people were injured when a police officer responding to a report of a street race plowed his car through a crowd of pedestrians that had gathered around him and were pounding on the car’s windows in downtown Tacoma on Saturday night, officials said.

The incident happened just before 7 p.m. when a crowd of about 100 people and multiple cars gathered near an intersection, police said in a statement.

A police car arrived, then drove through the crowd after people tried to block the vehicle, a witness said.

Video posted on social media shows the police car hitting several people and running over at least one person.

Tacoma police spokesperson Wendy Haddow told the Tacoma News-Tribune that police were notified shortly after 6 p.m. of the street racers.

Haddow said a responding officer used his car’s bullhorn to address the crowd. The crowd then began pounding on his windows, she said.

“The officer, fearing for his safety, tried to back up, but was unable to do so because of the crowd,” Tacoma Police said in a statement. That prompted him to speed out of the scene for his own safety, police said.

One person sustained cuts in the collision and was taken to a hospital, Haddow said.

Puyallup Police Capt. Dan Pashon told reporters that a second person was treated at the hospital and released.

City Manager Elizabeth Pauli said the officer involved will be placed on leave. The Pierce County Force Investigation Team will handle the case, Pauli said.

“I am concerned that our department is experiencing another use of deadly force incident,” Interim Police Chief Mike Ake said in a statement. “I send my thoughts to anyone who was injured in tonight’s event, and am committed to our Department’s full cooperation in the independent investigation and to assess the actions of the department’s response during the incident.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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