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Kriseman Urges St. Petersburg Protesters To Leave Weapons Home

Man speaks in front of a mural alongside police chief and ASL interpreter
St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman speaks to reporters at Pinellas Ale Works Tuesday.

Police are seeking to talk with three men who appeared to brandish weapons at protests in St. Petersburg Saturday night.

As tensions mount after months of protests against police violence and racial injustice, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman on Tuesday urged protesters to leave their weapons at home and called on all sides to stay calm.

“It's incumbent on everyone, from the President of the United States to those protesting to mayors, to turn the temperature down. Turn it down,” Kriseman said at a press conference outside Pinellas Ale Works.

Protests in St. Petersburg over the past several months have been mainly peaceful.

But over the weekend, video on social media emerged of protesters and another man wielding weapons.

The St. Petersburg Police Department released photos on Tuesday.

St. Petersburg Police chief Anthony Holloway said three suspects are being sought, including a man with a gun and two men who appeared to brandish knives.

Kriseman said violence will not be allowed in St. Petersburg.

"Those coming from out of town to cause trouble here, whether on the left or the right, are not welcome here,” Kriseman said. “If you intend to peacefully protest or counter protest, have at it. But keep your guns and your knives or any other weapon you might have at home."

Holloway said police plan to have more uniformed police officers, visibly in the streets, at protests in the future.

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