Dozens More Tampa Protesters Face Charges After Gatherings Turn Violent
Dozens of additional protesters face felony charges after demonstrations against police brutality in Tampa turned violent in late May.
Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren announced the additional charges resulting from the May 30 protests at University Mall in Tampa and in Temple Terrace.
The gathering at University Mall quickly escalated into violence as crowds burned down a Champ's Sporting Goods store, looted other businesses and destroyed property.
Warren said the charges range from burglary, rioting, grand theft, and battery on a law enforcement officer.
Along with previous charges issued on June 18, 57 people have now been charged as a result of the protests.
“These 57 people should not be confused with the large number of peaceful protesters in our community,” Warren said in a news release. “The defendants we’ve charged took advantage of the pain in our community and tried to turn it into a quick buck or set out to cause chaos. None of us will stand for that.”
Warren said evidence from an additional 45 felony cases is still being reviewed, so more charges are expected.
Warren recently declined to prosecute 67 people who were arrested while peacefully protesting in downtown Tampa in early June.