Anti-Police Rhetoric Led to Brutal Showdown in Tacoma | Opinion

A Tacoma, Wash., police officer's patrol vehicle was surrounded by a mob of spectators gathering to watch illegal street racing over the weekend. The incident ended with the officer driving through the crowd to protect himself.

Multiple videos shared on social media show one man being run over. The images are brutal and graphic. It's a miracle he's still alive.

This entire incident could have been avoided if we had more voices condemning the increasingly hateful, threatening and dehumanizing anti-police rhetoric spewed by activists and politicians with wanton abandon.

When we legitimize a movement that treats police as an enemy to be confronted, it should not come as a shock that people will feel empowered to do just that. The result is a group of mostly young imbeciles stupid enough to swarm and threaten a police vehicle.

Don't expect these confrontations to end well. A conflict between a car and a pedestrian will always favor the driver.

Police were called to the scene this past Saturday night after roughly 100 people and several cars blocked an intersection to watch drivers run doughnuts and burnouts. The Pacific Northwest has seen a rash of these events in the last several weeks. They've been dangerous, as evidenced by dramatic video shot in Seattle showing a spin out hitting spectators.

The moment an officer pulled into the Tacoma crowd, the group swarmed his vehicle. They pounded on the hood and the windows of the SUV, shaking it.

Some thought of it as a joke, with one amused man caught on video saying, "they're hitting the cop car!" Others took a more angry posture.

The officer felt threatened. He attempted to back up, but couldn't go far. The crowd advanced.

"The crowd was violently punching and kicking his vehicle so much that it was rocking back and forth," a Tacoma PD source told me. "He was trapped. They surrounded the vehicle. He tried to back up but couldn't. They were very violent. Some people were yelling to pull the cop out of the car."

That's when the officer drove through the crowd.

police protest
A protestor shouts at NYPD officers after a car struck multiple Black Lives Matter protesters December 11, 2020 that were gathered at the intersection of East 39th Street and 3rd Avenue in New York. Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty

After a quick burst of horsepower, the SUV slowed and rolled over a man, knocking several others to the ground. When the officer drove to safety, he called in for medical help.

Two people were injured, one of whom was released from the hospital the night of the incident.

Predictably, activist Twitter erupted with the usual claims of police brutality. As the story trended on social media, national figures weighed in too. They quickly judged the officer as overreacting, withheld the pertinent detail that he was being threatened by the crowd and continued their push to abolish the police.

The graphic video will undoubtedly elicit passionate views on different sides. Some will defend the officer, others will demonize him. There's an official investigation and we'll get more details in due time.

But this incident should highlight a position we can all agree on: you shouldn't swarm or mob a police vehicle. You shouldn't swarm or mob any vehicle. It can be deadly.

Yet thanks to progressive politicians who turned a blind eye to eight months of escalating riots from left-wing radicals, some foolishly believe this behavior is okay.

We've seen protesters swarm drivers who are unintentionally caught up in pop-up marches in the middle of an intersection. Rather than respond with courtesy—they are, after all, marching in the middle of the street without a permit or even notice—activists go after the driver.

And now we see a group of people—who were not even protesters—who seemed to think it's allowable (and even funny) to surround and threaten a police vehicle. In what reality could a reasonable person ever deem that okay?

We seem to have less and less reasonable people acting out in increasingly dangerous ways. When you belittle and demonize the police profession so much, the public, regardless of motivation, may justify taking any action against cops.

Can you imagine this happening at any time prior to the last four years? Cops used to engender a sense of respect, if not some minor fear.

But thanks to years of anti-cop propaganda and only a handful of high-profile pro-police voices, the public feels more comfortable confronting armed police officers.

This is a recipe for a disaster. And over the weekend in Tacoma, it almost became a deadly one.

Jason Rantz is a frequent guest on Fox News and is the host of the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH Seattle, heard weekday afternoons. You can subscribe to his podcast here and follow him on Twitter: @jasonrantz.

The views expressed in this article are the writer's own.