It should have been expected, and the Tucson Police should have been prepared to keep the peace on the night of March 29, 2014, before and after the of the University of Arizona’s final appearance in March Madness. Instead, they were geared up for a riot, and one young woman, walking down the sidewalk, felt just how geared up they were when she was attacked by two police officers and knocked to the ground.
One student, Tyler Charles who allegedly witnessed the woman get hit by the police officer told ADI, “The girl walked passed me and she had her drink in her hand. I don’t know if it had alcohol in it or not… But she literally walked pass me and the officer just rammed her and all of us guys around lost our shit.”
A Tucson police spokesman said the department has been made aware of the video and internal affairs will review it.
Phoebe Landolt, who originally uploaded the video said to the ADI, “I came later and I was told that 3 girls were trying to get to their car off of university (boulevard) and with no warning this girl was knocked over by the cop. Watching the video and seeing the scene in person I understand the purpose behind crowd control in a situation like that but what that officer did was completely unwarranted.”
A riot is what they wanted, but it wasn’t really what they got. According to area business people and students, the police were all dressed up for a riot and had no riot to go to, so it appeared that they created one of sorts.
According to the Tucson Police Department, officers and University of Arizona Police Officers were deployed to Main Gate Square on University Boulevard in preparation of large crowds gathering to watch the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. Officers were staged along University Boulevard before and during the game to show a police presence in the area.
The Police report reads:
At the conclusion of the game hundreds of people exited the various establishments and filled University Boulevard. The crowds began to congregate along the Boulevard but appeared to be calm after the Arizona Wildcats lost a close game to the Wisconsin Badgers.
As the crowd grew larger police began asking individuals to start moving out of the streets, however the crowd did not respond. Mobile Field Force Units were then deployed at Tyndall Avenue and University Boulevard with their protective equipment. A dispersal order was given to the crowd numerous times in both English and Spanish, telling the crowd that the Tucson Police Department had declared their gathering to be an unlawful assembly and to disperse from the area immediately.
On these points, almost everyone agrees. What happened next is the point of contention.
The majority of the crowd did not respond to the dispersal order and began throwing beer bottles, beer cans and firecrackers at the officers. Several of the firecrackers rolled underneath a patrol vehicle that was deployed with the Mobile Field Force Units. As the crowd began to move closer to the officers, pepper ball rounds were used in an attempt to disperse the crowd. Several individuals continued to advance at the officers and were taken into custody.
Bystanders and business staff claim:
The students did not throw anything at the police until the police became very aggressive to one or two people in the crowd.
15 people were arrested 9 of whom are students at the University of Arizona.
In this video, a young man simply walks a few steps up towards police and is immediately knocked down: