Witnesses claim Tucson cops started violence; Police “were all dressed up for a riot and had no riot to go to”
Videos uploaded to YouTube over the weekend show cops in Arizona intentionally inciting violence following a basketball game Saturday night by firing pepper rounds into crowds of students and attacking innocent bystanders
After the Arizona Wildcats men’s basketball team lost in overtime to the Wisconsin Badgers, students poured out of bars onto the streets of Tucson to find close to a hundred militarized cops dressed in riot gear and weilding batons.
The police were deployed, according to officials, in order to prevent damage to property from alcohol fueled sports fans. The situation quickly broke down into a violent stand off.
While police claim that students began to throw smoke bombs and other projectiles, The Arizona Daily Independent reports that this only started to happen after cops were unnecessarily aggressive toward a couple of people who were caught up in the crowd.
The following video captures one of those incidents, showing a female student simply walking through the crowd and getting brutally knocked down by a riot cop for absolutely no reason.
The video shows the cop running into the girl, who is half her size and knocking her clear off her feet. The woman is lucky that her head did not smash into the concrete floor, and that a park bench broke the fall. Clearly shaken up and having to be comforted by other students, she was extremely lucky to walk away from the incident at all.
Tyler Charles, a student who saw the incident told reporters “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.”
Phoebe Landolt, the student who filmed the incident said “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.”
The Tucson police department says it is “reviewing the video”.
A lone man confronts a line of Tucson Police as #ArizonaWildcats fans get out of hand.
Local business owners and students told the media that the cops incited the violence, claiming that “police were all dressed up for a riot and had no riot to go to,” according to the Daily Independent report. The cops declared the crowd to be an unlawful gathering and began indiscriminately firing pepper and beanbag rounds, bystanders claim.
In another video, a man is seen approaching the police line with his arms outstretched. The police shoot him in the chest with pepper rounds and then barge at him, with one cop fiercely head butting him.
Scores of cops then drag the man away behind the police line. “Officers proceeded to hold him in place while one officer kneed the man once in the stomach, then punched him three to four times in the stomach and torso before the man fell to the ground.” the report states.
The man, since dubbed “The Terminator of Tucson”, later posted a picture of his wounds to Twitter:
The student newspaper, The Daily Wildcat, reported that “Crowd members hit by the pepper spray were visibly affected, coughing and tearing up, with some even vomiting on the sidewalk.”
When all was said and done, 15 people were arrested 9 of whom are students at the University of Arizona.
The University has seemingly accepted the police department’s version of events, stating that “a minority of Wildcat fans chose to engage in behavior that does not reflect the culture of the University of Arizona and Tucson communities,”
This is how cops in America now automatically react to relatively small crowds. If they are willing to brutally attack female students just for walking on a street, imagine what they will do in situations of large scale unrest.