On Sunday night, police-protesting rioters in Tacoma, Washington, targeted the Pierce County Courthouse and Pierce County jail, shaking the fence and chanting they wanted to free the prisoners in the jail.
“A cheering mob — dressed in all black and at one point seen toting an Antifacist Action flag — was also caught on video trying to pull away the gates protecting the Pierce County Jail, chanting, ‘Free them all,’” the New York Post reported Monday. “Tacoma police said they also busted two people trying to get onto the roof of an unspecified secure building — saying they were armed with a handgun, double-bladed knives and batons.”
— Brendan Gutenschwager (@BGOnTheScene) January 25, 2021
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) January 25, 2021
“While monitoring demonstration activity, witnesses observed 3 people in a secure bldg. in the 700 blk of Commerce St. trying to access the roof,” the Tacoma Police Department said in a statement posted online Sunday. “Officers responded and arrested 2 people armed with a handgun and knives for Burglary 1st. The third subject is still outstanding.”
While monitoring demonstration activity, witnesses observed 3 people in a secure bldg. in the 700 blk of Commerce St. trying to access the roof. Officers responded and arrested 2 people armed with a handgun and knives for Burglary 1st. The third subject is still outstanding. pic.twitter.com/HxdC8N865o
— Tacoma Police Department (@TacomaPD) January 25, 2021
According to local station, KIRO 7, rioters converged on Pierce County Courthouse, near which they set fires and vandalized businesses, including shattering windows. Video shows graffiti and shattered glass in the area.
“Protesters started at least two fires in the area using a barricade for one and an American flag for the other,” the Daily Mail reports. Video and photos show a bail bond business with busted out windows, trash cans set on fire and a building with the words “KILL COPS” scrawled on it.
The riots followed a police-involve incident on Saturday night, in which a Tacoma police officer whose SUV was surrounded drove forward, injuring a member of the crowd. According to Tacoma police, at roughly 6:20 p.m. dispatchers started receiving calls about vehicles doing burnouts and doughnuts as they blocked the intersection of South Ninth and Pacific Avenue.
“When police arrived at the scene, a crowd of about 100 people had gathered,” KIRO reported. “… A Tacoma police officer who arrived in an SUV with its lights and sirens on soon found himself surrounded by people who were banging on the stopped vehicle and its windows in a threatening way. Tacoma police said that fearing for his safety, the officer tried to back up but was unable to because of the crowd.”
Haddow said after the officer had driven through the crowd, he “stopped at a point of safety” and called for support. She added, “He was afraid they would break his glass.”
Interim Police Chief Mike Ake stated, “I am concerned that our department is experiencing another use of deadly force incident. 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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