Tacoma, WA, police are investigating themselves after a security camera caught a police officer running over a man who was lying in the street.
The 22 year-old man can be seen walking to, and entering, a car at around 1:13 a.m. Three minutes later, he exits the car, then lies down on the pavement. After he was there for two minutes, a police car can be seen slowly approaching the man, stopping a few times–including directly in front of him–then ultimately running him over. The car appears to accelerate heavily before the impact, and continues for what looks like 100 feet after rolling over the man.
Tacoma Police Department spokeswoman Loretta Cool, however, denies that this was intentional. “[The officer] was driving very slowly, and he stopped a couple of times to run plates and he was looking at the (patrol car’s computer) screen. He was looking out in between the cars,” Cool said.
Cool said that the officer did not see the man, who she claims was wearing dark clothing while lying on dark pavement.
“We hope that the guy’s okay. Obviously, even if you do lay down in the roadway, I don’t think you expect to wake up to that,” Cool said.
Duane Marggraf, who lives in a retirement home across the street, witnessed the events unfold. “He continued up the road real slowly,” Marggraf said. “ When his headlights hit the concrete up there, I noticed there was somebody up there laying in the road. I thought he was going to get out and give him a citation for being drunk in public or something like that. But he continued on and ran him over, just like watching a movie.”
The officer was not put on leave because, Tacoma police claim, the accident was not intentional. However, the department has given him a few days off. “Obviously this impacted him significantly, so we’re giving him some time so we can make sure that he’s fit to come back to work,” Cool said.
The victim is in critical condition.
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