In a YouTube video uncovered by the Arizona Daily Independent, Tucson police can be seen brutally pummeling a female student who was walking innocuously just off the campus of the University of Arizona.
The video was taken on Saturday. Tucson police had deployed in full, terrifying pseudo-military riot gear in case students and fans damaged any property after the Arizona Wildcats men’s basketball team lost an overtime thriller to the Wisconsin Badgers.
The scene of the police brutality was a vibrant area of bars and restaurants.
The police threw pepper canisters and fired pepper balls indiscriminately. One pepper ball struck an editor of the student newspaper, according to The Daily Wildcat.
Students and fans hurled objects at the police such as firecrackers and beer cans.
The YouTube video shows the young woman, walking down the sidewalk. (In the first 20 seconds of the video, little happens. But be patient. The next 10 seconds are absolutely insane.)
A cop in full, SWAT-esque riot gear comes out of absolutely nowhere and violently pushes the shorts-clad woman over some metal object and harshly to the ground.
“The girl walked passed me and she had her drink in her hand,” witness Tyler Charles told the Daily Independent. “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.”
Another witness, Phoebe Landolt, provided some more details.
“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,” she said. “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 police report obtained by the Daily Independent reads:
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.
The police report also claims that the riot gear-festooned police had no choice but to pelt students with pepper canisters and pepper balls.
Bystanders disputed this description, telling the Independent that police began to act with great hostility to a couple random people in the vast crowd—and essentially started the riot they were sent to stop.
Tucson police spokesman told the Independent that the department will review the damning video internally.