TUCSON – Anthony Potter, a man well known to the University of Arizona Police Department was arrested last month during an active shooter training exercise.
UA police said Potter was in a secure area and was warned by the officer to step away.
“We just want to make it safe for everybody involved,” Police Chief Brian Seastone said.
In an exclusive video from the officer’s body-worn cameras obtained by News 4 Tucson, the arresting officer reportedly asked Potter “No weapons on you nothing like that.”
“My only weapon is my mouth and my brain,” Potter said. “This is where you guys arrested me in the past just for talking about free education on campus.”
In the video, Potter told the officer, “I didn’t do anything wrong but ask a cop a question, and is asking a cop a question illegal on campus?”
According to officials, Potter was detained and they conducted a warrant check.
“There were multiple warrants on the individual and he’s placed under arrest for those warrants,” Seastone said.
Potter was taken to the Pima County Jail and booked on five warrants from Tucson Police Department and for criminal trespassing from UAPD.
Authorities said Potter insisted there was a mistake and that he had taken care of the warrants charged against him. Shortly after, a group of about 20 protestors showed up at the jail.
“It’s my understanding that they were protesting an individual who was arrested by UAPD,” Capt. Sean Stewart said.
Stewart said everyone is allowed to exercise their First Amendment right to protest. However, “they were actually shooting bottle rockets, or projectiles that were actually found in the yards.”
They also chanted and held signs that said, “Fire to the prison” and “You’re not alone.”
Stewart said this was a potentially dangerous situation.
“The inmates on the inside could’ve looked at that and said that was a sign for them to riot and burn down the prison,” Stewart said.
A dozen protestors were arrested and charged with rioting, a class five felony.
“Exercise your first amendment right, but once you cross a certain line, actions are going to have to be taken and that night they crossed the line,” Stewart said.
The News 4 Tucson Digging Deeper Team did a record check and found the trespassing charge against Anthony Potter was not referred for prosecution.
News 4 Tucson wanted to know why the County Attorney failed to prosecute on the trespassing charge.
They sent an email that said in part, “We declined to prosecute a new case involving the incident that precipitated the arrest due to a lack of sufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a crime had been committed.”
After the initial story aired on Aug. 15, News 4 Tucson received an email, saying the group that was arrested had no ties to Anthony Potter, and we reported false information.
We attempted to contact the person who sent the email, but the email bounced back. News 4 Tucson called the phone number and there was no such number.