A police officer in Tucson, Arizona, was caught on video pushing an elderly woman to the ground during an immigration protest earlier this month.
Tucson News Now first obtained body camera footage of the Feb. 16 incident last Friday. It shows an unidentified officer with the Tucson Police Department giving the woman a shove that causes her to fall after the two have a short verbal confrontation during a “Day Without Immigrants” protest.
The unidentified woman in the video is 86 years old, according to The Washington Post.
Retired schoolteacher Rolande Baker, 65, can then be seen attempting to help the older woman stand back up, but the same officer immediately pepper-sprays Baker in the face.
Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus criticized the approximately 200 protesters on Facebook, saying that a “specific subgroup elected to remain in the road and challenge the directions they were given by the officers.”
Four people were arrested during the protests, and Magnus wrote that at least one officer had been assaulted while attempting to make an arrest.
The protests were in response to a nationwide wave of arrests of undocumented immigrants by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.
Baker told The Washington Post that she and three other women were blocking a police van, but that police were being “way more aggressive than I’ve ever seen them be.”
“Here’s this woman on the ground, and they’re so busy pepper-spraying those who were helping her, they never help her up,” Baker told the publication. “Do we look violent to you?”
Magnus said his department would investigate the incident and release the finished review to the public.
“I’ve looked at a lot of the footage and I’m still under the impression that, by and large, things were handled well,” Magnus told local NBC affiliate KVOA-TV the night following the protests.
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