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2-alarm fire at vacant Tacoma building being investigated as suspicious

TACOMA, Wash. — A two-alarm fire that destroyed a vacant building in Tacoma on the Fourth of July is being investigated as suspicious, according to the Tacoma Police Department.

Fire officials confirmed Friday that the fire was suspicious.

The blaze brought down a building on the block of Tacoma Avenue South, leading firefighters to take a defensive approach when they first arrived at the scene.

Crews also reported the building had partially collapsed only minutes after their arrival.

Firefighters had to work to protect nearby buildings as flames were seen shooting into the air.

Crews remained at the scene overnight to monitor flare-ups on the day of the fire.

The investigation remains ongoing.

Crews continue to make progress with extinguishment of the fire. Protection of exposure structures is ongoing. Building is reported to be vacant. No injuries reported. pic.twitter.com/s2qSQHQ3OH

— Tacoma Fire (@TacomaFire) July 5,

© Cox Media Group

Sours: https://www.kiro7.com/news/local/crews-battling-largealarm-commercial-fire-tacoma/64BMQ2CW2VGMRJDXMH6PLKG4UY/

Rantz: Tacoma cop who drove out of crowd was swarmed, threatened by mob

Graphic video shows a Tacoma Police Department officer driving out of a mob of people surrounding his car.

One person was taken to a hospital. He originally was reported to have just minor injuries but that statement from police has been walked back, according to KIRO 7.

But while the Tacoma News Tribune mischaracterized the video and plenty of Twitter users jumped to dubious conclusions, one police source provided a better explanation about what happened. The mob was a threat to the officer and he acted in self-defense.

Mob was a threat to the officer

Police were called as drivers were doing illegal doughnuts and burnouts at the intersection of Ninth South and Pacific in Tacoma.

When one officer arrived, a mob surrounded his patrol vehicle, trying to block him from leaving. But they were also trying to break his windows according to a source.

&#;The crowd was violently punching and kicking his vehicle so much that it was rocking back and forth,&#; a Tacoma PD source tells the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH. &#;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.&#;

Fearing for his safety, the officer &#;inches forward to get them to get out of way activated his siren multiple times.&#;

But the mob ignored the officer and continued to pound on the car, posing a direct threat.

&#;He did not panic. He felt like his life was in danger and&#; [reasonable people would think] they were going to pull him out of the vehicle if they broke the window,” the source explains.

The witness who shot one of the videos confirmed to the Tacoma News Tribune that the mob of people swarmed the officer.

“A lot of people swarmed in that direction (of the police car),” the witness said. “They were intending to block him.”

Media, Twitter users react without context

Not understanding the context, Twitter users were enraged with what happened, as if the officer just wantonly drove through a crowd of innocent bystanders.

Not helping the situation was the framing by the Tacoma News Tribune. It&#;s extremely misleading.

&#;The video footage is clear, and hard to watch: a Tacoma Police patrol car running into and through a group of pedestrians,&#; Craig Sailor writes.

Except that&#;s not what the footage shows. It very clearly shows the mob surrounding the patrol vehicle, not a cop who was &#;running into and through&#; the crowd.

Other video has a witness literally saying, &#;they&#;re hitting the cop car.&#;

The lesson in all of this

The Tacoma officer was protecting himself from a mob. The video, out of context, doesn&#;t look good. Perhaps it&#;s why bad faith, anti-cop activists on Twitter don&#;t retweet the full video with more details.

As more video is posted online, we&#;ll get a better idea as to what happened. What&#;s clear is that the mob surrounded the officer&#;s vehicle, banging on his car. That is always unwise.

Thanks to anti-cop activists and some shoddy reporting, there&#;s been a wave of civilians mistreating cops. They seem to think that they can do whatever they want around an officer, perhaps thinking some local politician will have their back. Okay then. But keep in mind: when you go to war with a car, the car will almost always win.

When you foolishly decide to block cars, pound and kick, and pose a threat, it should not come as a shock to you when you&#;re treated as dangerous. You are, in fact, dangerous.

Don&#;t ever surround a car, whether it belongs to a police officer or anyone else. The civilians who were injured would have been better served abiding by this piece of advice.

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from p.m. on KTTH AM (or HD Radio FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here. Follow @JasonRantz on Twitter, and Instagram and like me on Facebook. 

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Sours: https://mynorthwest.com//rantz-mob-surrounded-threatened-safety-of-tacoma-cop-who-drove-out-of-crowd/
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Tacoma cop punished after bodycams not used

TACOMA (AP) — A Tacoma police lieutenant in charge when officers responded to Pierce County Sheriff Ed Troyer’s altercation with a Black newspaper carrier has been disciplined for his and other officers’ failures to turn on their body cameras.

Newly released records show Lt. Robert G. Stark was given a letter of reprimand in May following an internal investigation which found he arrived at the scene of a call for service, failed to activate his body camera and did not ensure officers on scene had theirs activated, The Seattle Times reported.

“As a leader, you are expected to demonstrate adherence to Department policies and procedures,” said Stark’s reprimand, signed by interim police Chief Mike Ake.

The investigation exonerated four other officers who responded to Troyer’s Jan. 27 emergency call although they admitted to forgetting to wear, or correctly turn on, their body cameras during the call, records show. All of them fell under a grace period from discipline for any officer who broke the new policy after receiving their cameras, an internal affairs lieutenant found.

During the January incident, Troyer in his SUV followed newspaper carrier Sedrick Altheimer and at some point called in a large police response, telling an emergency dispatcher that Altheimer was threatening to kill him.

Sours: https://www.columbian.com/news//jul/27/tacoma-cop-punished-after-bodycams-not-used/

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