Body camera shows Arizona police officer pushing elderly woman at Trump protest
PHOENIX — Body camera footage recently released shows an Arizona police officer pushing an elderly woman over at a protest against President Donald Trump’s immigration policies.
KOLD-TV reported the footage was captured at a Feb. 16 protest held in honor of A Day Without Immigrants in downtown Tucson and released to the media late last week.
The local news station said about 200 people attended the protest, which was peaceful until protesters stepped off of the sidewalk and into rush hour traffic. When protesters were asked to get back onto the sidewalk, at least one officer was hit in the back.
Police told the TV station that officers used pepper spray to disperse the crowd, which is apparently immediately after the 86-year-old woman was pushed over in the video.
“Here’s this woman on the ground, and they’re so busy pepper-spraying those who were helping her, they never help her up,” protester Rolande Baker told the Washington Post. “Do we look violent to you?”
Baker said the older woman had formed part of a human chain to block a police van holding an arrested protester when she was pushed over.
The woman was not hurt and was able to get up on her own. Police have not released her name.
Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus told the Post that he believes officers acted appropriately and, in a Facebook post, said that there was a lack of communication about protesters’ desire to block the street, which contributed to the tense standoff.
However, Magnus wrote that his department is reviewing the situation and asked the public to submit any videos it has of the incident.
“We understand and appreciate that people observe and perceive things differently,” he wrote. “This is true for the members of the public who were present during this incident, as well as for the police officers who were involved.”
Three officers suffered minor injuries in the protest. Four protesters were arrested.
This is not the first time footage has raised eyebrows about the physical actions of Tucson police officers. Three years ago, an officer was seen knocking down an unsuspecting woman near a standoff with police.
A city review board concluded in July that Sgt. Joel Mann acted inappropriately in his handling of the rioters, but that the police department’s overall response was satisfactory. Mann was not charged.