TACOMA, Wash. — A Tacoma officer responding to a call about street racing Saturday night ran over a pedestrian when his patrol car became surrounded by a crowd.
Police started getting calls about cars blocking intersections while other drivers performed doughnuts, burnouts and other stunts in the street, KIRO-TV reported.
There were about 100 people gathered when officers arrived.
A Tacoma officer arrived with the emergency lights and sirens on and was suddenly surrounded. The group started banging on the stopped vehicle and its windows. The officer, fearing for his safety, tried to reverse but was unable to because of the crowd. He went forward and hit at least one person, police said.
A man fell under the SUV as the officer drove away, Tacoma Police Officer Wendy Haddow said. Other people were possibly hit as well. Witnesses said a group of people were hit. Video on social media shows the patrol vehicle arrive and appear to hit several people in the crowd before leaving the area shortly later.
Investigators said the officer called for paramedics when he was in a safe location. The victim was taken to a hospital. Police initially said his injuries were minor but have since said his condition is unknown.
After the incident a group of protesters gathered in the area. One person was arrested and the crowd was ordered to leave.
Because the incident is considered a use of deadly force, the Pierce County Force Investigation Team is investigating.
“I am concerned that our department is experiencing another use of deadly force incident,” said Interim Police Chief Mike Ake. “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.”
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