Shocking body camera footage released late last week shows a Tucson police officer shoving an elderly woman to the ground and pepper-spraying a bystander who rushes to help her up during a Day Without Immigrants protest in the city.
In the footage, which was released to local media outlets on Friday, an 86-year-old woman, who The Washington Post reported is just 4'5" and weighs less than 100 pounds, starts approaching and shouting at a police officer.
Soon after, the officer appears to shove the woman's arm, causing her to fall on her back and hit her head on the pavement. As another woman close by reaches down to help the older woman up, she's promptly pepper-sprayed by the same officer.
The 86-year-old, whom police have not publicly identified, was able to get up on her own and wasn't injured. But Rolande Baker, the retired teacher who was pepper-sprayed, told the Post she was still recovering from eye pain three days later.
“I saw the police being way more aggressive than I’ve ever seen them be,” she said.
The footage is from a Feb. 16 protest which was organized as part of the National Day Without Immigrants, which turned out thousands of residents to protest President Trump's immigration crackdown around the country.
Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus told The Arizona Republic that the incident is under investigation, but praised his officers' overall handling of the event, which he said was much larger than expected and left officers outnumbered.
"Most of the crowd complied, but a very specific subgroup elected to remain in the road and challenge the directions they were given by the officers," he said in a statement.