Protesters say TPD's body cam video shows 'excessive violence' - Tucson News Now

Protesters say TPD's body cam video shows 'excessive violence'

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

A group of people are speaking out about the body cam video that captures the tense moments between protesters and police during an immigration rally in downtown Tucson earlier this month.

Four people were arrested on Thursday, Feb. 16, during the "Day Without Immigrants" protest along Congress Street.  

The videos, which can be viewed HERE and HERE, were obtained by KOLD News 13 on Friday, Feb. 24, following a Freedom of Information Act request.

The protest started off peaceful and organizers said about 100 people took part in the event. Some of the protesters claim the body cam videos shows officers from the Tucson Police Department using excessive force.

“You don’t push old women to the ground and then pepper spray those that are trying to help her,” said Zaira Livier, who was at the protest.

The protesters are part of Lucha Unida de Padres y Estudiantes, a local immigrants rights group. LUPE members said they were protesting the recent ICE raids across the country.

Four of the people who took part in the immigration protest in downtown told Tucson News Now they are outraged over the actions of the officers.

“Brutality and oppression,” David Archuleta said.

In the video officers are heard telling the protesters to get off the road and back to the sidewalk multiple times.

When asked why they didn't listen to the officers, Archuleta said many of the protesters did.

“Many people were getting on the sidewalk," Archuleta said. "It was them acting violent. You can see my friend just holding his bike trying to go to the sidewalk and they’re pushing him."

Sgt. Pete Dugan, spokesman for the TPD, said an officer was hit in the back by someone in the crowd and when officers tried to arrest that person, the crowd moved in and an officer used pepper spray to disperse them.

The protesters said they were trying to follow the officer’s commands but they say things turned violent within seconds.

“We wanted to be there with our phones to be in solidarity," Brittany Fitzgerald said. "We’re not a group that’s going to be split apart when some of our folks are being attacked and brutalized."

Investigators from the Office of Professional Standards are looking into exactly what happened between protesters and officers, but the protest group wants TPD to be held accountable.

Edward Cott, a protesters, said he "absolutely" thinks the officers should lose their job over the incident.

TPD Chief Chris Magnus said they will investigate any and all complaints filed with the department.

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