On the evening of Jan. 23, several police officers responded to an illegal street racing event that was blocking an intersection at around 6:19 p.m. One officer's vehicle was surrounded and threatened by the rowdy crowd.
"The officer, fearing for his safety, tried to back up, but was unable to do so because of the crowd," stated the department in an incident report. "The officer had his lights and sirens activated. While trying to extricate himself from an unsafe position, the officer drove forward, striking one individual and may have impacted others. The officer stopped at a point of safety and called for medical aid."
Footage of the incident has been widely shared on social media showing the police officer's vehicle knocking multiple people to the ground. At least two people were hospitalized, but doctors say their injuries are not life-threatening.
The incident is being investigated by the Pierce County Force Investigation Team. The team is made up of a mix of law enforcement officials recruited from different agencies around the country and non-law enforcement individuals acting as representatives of the community.
Though the department believes the use of force was justified, it has still placed the officer responsible, a 58-year-old man who has been with the Tacoma police for the past 29 years, on paid administrative leave.
In a statement released early Sunday, Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards said that the previous night's incident "is being taken very seriously" and that she has tasked both the police chief and the city manager "to ensure that everyone involved is held accountable." She has also called for Tacoma residents to respond to the incident in a peaceful manner.
"For those who woke up this morning feeling outrage, frustration, grief, heartbreak or confusion, I understand and honor your feelings. I, too, am deeply saddened by what we saw last night."
"I continue to be proud of Tacoma's long-standing reputation as a place of strong, non-violent advocacy and activism," she added. "I continue to support your right to use your voice to advocate and demonstrate peacefully during this time of heightened tension.
While Woodards was calling for calm after an emotionally charged incident, Antifa agitators have instead responded by capitalizing on it. At least 200 people gathered to march through downtown Tacoma on Sunday night. (Related: The left-wing "hate" media and Democrats created a MONSTER, and now the radicalized, terroristic Left is turning against Biden's governmental regime.)
The Antifa crowd began gathering at Frost Park in downtown Tacoma at around 7 p.m., near the area where the police officer's vehicle hit the people in the previous night's illegal street race.
Multiple demonstrators held signs such as "Defund TPD" and "Justice for Manuel Ellis." Ellis was a person who died while in the custody of the Tacoma police last year.
"We want to see the officer actually fired and charged," said one lifelong Tacoma resident who held one of the "Defund TPD" signs. "Paid vacation isn't a punishment."
At least one person was spotted carrying an Antifa flag, and another person was seen carrying a rifle. A large portion of the demonstrators wore all-black clothing, distinguishing them as part of the black bloc, or members of Antifa who engage and start fights with police officers and counter-protestors.
The crowd began marching around downtown by 8:15 p.m. As they marched, they could be heard chanting multiple slogans, including "No cops, no prisons, total abolition." This is a common chant for Antifa, which opposes the American criminal justice system.
Immediately after they began marching, the crowd began getting rowdy and riled up. Some in the crowd were witnessed breaking windows and spray-painting graffiti on the sides of buildings.
As soon as the crowd passed by the Pierce County Jail, they started banging on the fence and rousing the correctional facility's inmates by shouting at them. At one point they began chanting slogans like "Free them all" and "Whose lives matter? Black lives matter."
By 9:30 p.m., the crowd at the jail was pushed back after Tacoma police officers on bicycles formed a line to block them. This was one of the first few instances when the police interacted with the mob, preferring to instead observe them from a distance and document their criminal activities.
Other incidents of criminal activity include three people armed with a handgun and knives breaking into a secure building on Commerce Street. Two of the individuals were arrested on the spot, while the third was able to escape.
According to Tacoma police, the riot ended just before midnight, when the crowds dispersed of their own accord and the roadways were finally cleared.
"There are no known injuries in relation to the demonstration," reported the police department.
Learn more about the ongoing Antifa and Black Lives Matter riots and demonstrations in Washington, Oregon and other parts of the country by reading the latest articles at Rioting.news.