PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A police officer in Tacoma, Wash. drove his patrol vehicle over a person while attempting to escape a crowd Saturday night, the police department said. The incident was caught on camera and posted to social media.
According to the Tacoma Police Department, officers responded to reports of cars and people blocking the intersection of South Ninth and Pacific Avenue at around 6:20 p.m. Drivers were reportedly doing burnouts and doughnuts with their vehicles.
KIRO 7, a CBS affiliate, reports that when police arrived at the scene, they found a crowd of about 100 people. Officers began clearing the crowd out of the intersection.
At some point, an officer in a patrol SUV was surrounded by people. Police said they were banging on the doors and windows of the vehicle in a threatening way.
Police said the officer turned on the vehicle’s lights and siren. He tried backing up, but couldn’t because of the crowd. The officer then accelerated forward, injuring at least two people. Police said the officer was trying to escape an unsafe situation.
When the officer got to a safe location, he called for medics.
A man was taken to the hospital and a second person was later treated at the hospital with injuries that resulted from the incident, the Associated Press reports.
The AP later reported protesters set a large fire, damaged buildings and marched with signs in response to the incident.
The Tacoma Police Department has turned the investigation over to the Pierce County Force Investigation Team. According to the AP, police say the officer has been placed on administrative leave — but protesters told news outlets that they want the officer to be fired.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.