A police officer in the state of Washington was temporarily released after his patrol vehicle plowed through a crowd of pedestrians late Saturday, reports The Tacoma News-Tribune.
In footage provided to the newspaper by an eyewitness, the patrol vehicle could be seen approaching a group of pedestrians gathered at an intersection in downtown Tacoma to watch a street race.
As the vehicle approached the intersection, more people could be seen walking in front of it. The vehicle could then be seen retreating before accelerating forward into the crowd, apparently running over some people.
According to the local newspaper, one person was sent to the hospital after the incident.
“There were many vehicles and about 1
“During the operation, Tacoma’s responding police vehicle was surrounded by the crowd,” the department continued. The agency claims that “people hit the body of the police vehicle and its windows when the policeman was stopped on the street.”
“The officer, fearing for his safety, tried to make a backup copy, but was unable to do so because of the crowd. The officer activated his lights and sirens, the office said, adding: “While trying to get out of a dangerous situation, the officer moved forward, hitting one person and possibly influencing others. “
The department said it had handed over the investigation to the incident to government officials.
In a statement to the newspaper, interim police chief Mike Ake said he was concerned that the unit was “experiencing another use of a deadly incident.”
“I am sending my thoughts to anyone who was injured in the event tonight and I am committed to the full cooperation of our department in the independent investigation and to assess the actions of the department’s response during the incident,” he added.
The department is under investigation amid weeks of protests against police brutality following the death of Manuel Ellis last March.
Ellis, a black man, died at the age of 33 in Tacoma. The Pierce County Medical Expert’s Office ruled his death a homicide after finding that he had died of respiratory arrest caused by physical detention after local police handcuffed him to the ground.
– Updated at 9:12 in the morning