ARIZONA NEWS

4 people arrested after police used tear gas at pro-Palestine encampment at University of Arizona

May 1, 2024, 10:18 AM | Updated: May 2, 2024, 9:04 am

File photo of a University of Arizona Police Department vehicle. The department responded to an unl...

The University of Arizona Police Department responded to an unlawful assembly near the school’s main gate late Tuesday, April 30, 2024. (Facebook Photo/The University of Arizona Police Department)

(Facebook Photo/The University of Arizona Police Department)

PHOENIX – Police broke up a pro-Palestine encampment at the University of Arizona in Tucson early Wednesday.

Ultimately, four people were arrested, according to University of Arizona President Dr. Robert C. Robbins. Three people were arrested for criminal trespass. The fourth was arrested for both criminal trespass and aggravated assault against a peace officer.

“One was an undergraduate student, another a graduate student, and two were unaffiliated with the University,” Robbins said in a statement.

“The university celebrates and encourages free expression and diverse views, including by those who protest peacefully,” he added. “But we will not tolerate violations of the law.”

What led to arrests at University of Arizona pro-Palestine demonstration?

Robbins said the protest organizers first gathered on the University of Arizona campus on Monday, but university leaders let them peacefully remain until 10:30 p.m.

However, protestors started erecting unauthorized structures in violation of campus policies on Tuesday at around 3 p.m., Robbins said.

The arrests came after the University of Arizona Police Department responded to an unlawful assembly near the school’s main gate at University Boulevard and Park Avenue around 11 p.m. Tuesday. Robbins said the university warned the protestors to stop.

“Protestors ignored the warning, continued to reinforce their encampment and chanted, ‘If you come in, we will fight you,'” Robbins said.

The Tucson Police Department, Pima County Sheriff’s Office and Arizona Department of Public Safety eventually joined UArizona police on the response.

The area was closed to traffic, and protesters were told to clear out.

Around midnight, police warned about the potential deployment of “chemical irritant munitions,” aka tear gas.

Around 2 a.m. Wednesday, the school issued a statement saying Robbins had directed officials and police “to immediately enforce campus use policies and all corresponding laws without further warning.”

Soon after, police deployed tear gas. The area was reopened before 3 a.m., after the encampment was removed.

Tucson incident comes days after arrests at ASU

A wave of pro-Palestine rallies has been rolling through campuses across the U.S., with university officials showing varying degrees of tolerance.

More than 70 protesters were arrested at Arizona State University in Tempe on Friday night for refusing to remove unauthorized encampments. About 80% of those arrested were not students, ASU said.

In Los Angeles, UCLA canceled classes Wednesday after overnight clashes between police and protesters.

What started nationwide wave of campus protests?

The campus protest movement began at Columbia University in New York about two weeks ago in response to Israel’s offensive in Gaza after Hamas launched a deadly attack on southern Israel on Oct. 7. Militants killed about 1,200 people, most of them civilians, and took roughly 250 hostages. Vowing to stamp out Hamas, Israel has killed more than 34,000 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, according to the Health Ministry there.

Israel and its supporters have branded the university protests as antisemitic, while Israel’s critics say it uses those allegations to silence opposition. Although some protesters have been caught on camera making antisemitic remarks or violent threats, organizers of the protests, some of whom are Jewish, say it is a peaceful movement aimed at defending Palestinian rights and protesting the war.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

A motorcyclist died on Saturday, May 18, 2024, after colliding with another vehicle that was attemp...

Nick Borgia

Motorcyclist dies over the weekend after late-night collision in Phoenix

A motorcyclist died over the weekend after colliding with another vehicle that was attempting to make a left turn in Phoenix.

49 minutes ago

A dump truck crash closed the transition ramp from the Loop 202 Red Mountain Freeway to the Loop 10...

KTAR.com

WB L-202 to L-101 transition ramp closed in Mesa after crash involving dump truck

The transition ramp from the westbound Loop 202 Red Mountain Freeway to the Loop 101 Price Freeway was closed Monday morning following a crash involving a dump truck.

2 hours ago

Banner Imaging and HeartFlow are collaborating to offer a new program to help new patients detect c...

Bailey Leasure

Banner Health, HeartFlow offering a new program to detect coronary blockages

Banner Imaging and HeartFlow are collaborating to offer a new program to help new patients detect coronary blockages.

3 hours ago

Chandler Flex...

Nick Borgia

Chandler City Council approves 1-year extension for Flex ride share service

The Chandler City Council approved a one-year extension with River North Transit to continue operating the micro-transit service.

3 hours ago

Breakfast restaurant Over Easy to celebrate its 15th location opening with a Welcome Weekend event ...

Bailey Leasure

Over Easy to host grand opening for 2nd Queen Creek location this weekend

Breakfast restaurant Over Easy to celebrate its 15th location opening with a "Welcome Weekend" event on May 25-26.

4 hours ago

Phoenix Police...

Nick Borgia

Phoenix police successfully complete Operation Full Court Press to reduce crime

Phoenix police announced the completion of Operation Full Court Press, a five-day initiative focused on reducing crime.

12 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.

...

COLLINS COMFORT MASTERS

Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Avoid a potential emergency and get your home’s heating and furnace safety checked

With the weather getting colder throughout the Valley, the best time to make sure your heating is all up to date is now. 

4 people arrested after police used tear gas at pro-Palestine encampment at University of Arizona