Tension hung in the air early Wednesday morning as police officers in riot gear faced protesters linked arm in arm on North Park Avenue.

One of the protesters said the group had left the encampment after being asked to leave campus by police and went to the street to avoid arrest.

They were later met by those who fled when police entered the barriers surrounding the group of tents.

Four people were arrested. One protester was also facing a charge for aggravated assault for kicking an officer, according to a Tucson Police Officers Association, or TPOA, post.

Those charges were dropped by a judge, something the TPOA president, Darrell Hussman said frustrated officers.

In my opinion it emboldens the people that assault officers to go, ‘I can do it now, and I wont get in trouble,’ ” he said. “And thats a scary thought.

He said he heard from officers who were spit on and had objects thrown at them.

Another one of the protesters arrested was Kerrick Wolf. He and another protester, Muna Hijazi, said that they saw no acts of violence from anyone from the encampment. They turned the blame toward police.

Would anyone ever interpret someone showing up in riot gear as a peaceful thing,” Hijazi said. “Like, its just very clear who is peaceful and not peaceful in that scenario.

Wolf echoed the sentiment: If the police hadnt shown up, violence wouldve never happened.”

He added that even in a case where protesters were throwing things or spitting at officers, he thinks “that is in no way even close to the same or equivalent, or even relatively close to showing up with a baton and a gun.

Hussman said that in the future, officers want better documentation of protests since he said there will be more to come.

“We want to protect the people and their First Amendment right to be heard,” he said. “We want to protect that, but when it turns into violence, that’s when we have to turn into action. We want to make sure everyone has the ability to be heard but safely.”