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Jul 3, 2014 8:53 PM by Lauren Reimer

Investigation finds TPD handled March Main Gate crowds 'appropriately'

TUCSON - On the night of March 29th, hundreds of disappointed University of Arizona fans emptied out of the bars and onto the streets at Main Gate Square, after their school's loss in the NCAA Tournament.

Tucson Police were standing by.

Chief Roberto Villaseñor said, "You have to acknowledge and remember a lot of those people had been there most of the day in the bars watching all the games and their senses may not be as finely tuned as they always were before."

Police vehicles were used to encourage people to leave. The board believes the lights and sirens may have agitated the crowd, and could have made it hard for officers to communicate.

A Board of Inquiry investigation found TPD's response last March was handled appropriately.

The city group has recommended that the Police Department use louder voice amplifiers, park their vehicles farther away, and close the street to cars when there's a possibility of large crowds in the future.

The only officer to not have his use of force justified was Sergeant Joel Mann, who is accused of pushing a female student, among other actions.

TPD says findings will be released later on the Sergeant. Right now, he's on military deployment, and will be given 7 days to respond once he returns.

By the time the night was over, 15 people were arrested. Of those cases, Alexander Davidson, Paul Harris, and Samuel Perison have all plead guilty to unlawful assembly. The officers who used force to take them into custody have had their actions deemed 'justified.'

"The portrayal of some of the events here and the repetitive showing of just a few minor clips from the overall event and time we were there paints a picture as if things may have been completely out of control and that's not true."

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