Video Shows Woman Blindsided By Police During Arizona Riot

A video going viral Monday shows a police officer hitting a woman during a riot that broke out after the Wildcats' NCAA tournament loss.
Posted at 6:55 PM, Mar 31, 2014

Following the University of Arizona's loss in the NCAA basketball tournament, some angry fans hit the streets only to be met by Tucson police. Now, police are investigating if one of its officers acted appropriately after a video surfaced online showing one of them blind siding a female outside of the rowdy crowd.

A student captured video of the incident and spoke with the Arizona Daily Star. She says, "These girls had been trying to get to their car. The girl is on her phone not paying attention and this cop came out of nowhere and just leveled her." Here's a look at the video:

As you can see, the woman is walking toward the crowd, when the officer steps out to hit her — sending her flying and making the already angry crowd more heated. (Via YouTube / Arizona Daily Star) 

A Deadspin writer points out, ​"After blindsiding the girl, the cop walks away without restraining or arresting her. The people on camera react as if it came out of nowhere, berating the cop."

And a writer for Slate urges caution, but argues there are very few scenarios where the officer's actions would have been necessary. "To be fair, it's a relatively short clip without a whole lot of context. Regardless, it's mighty difficult to construct a narrative that required the police officer to respond with that degree of force."

But, witness Phoebe Landolt says that video was definitely not out of context.

"You saw the video. It was was not out of context. There was no warning. They weren't telling us anything. And this girl just got knocked over out of the blue and this girl was just trying to get to her car."

ABC reports 15 people were arrested during the riot, however that girl was not arrested and no charges are being sought against her. The Tucson Police Department says they've been in contact with the girl in the video and its internal affairs unit is investigating the incident. It's unclear if the woman sustained any injuries.