Prosecutors in Tampa new charges against dozens accused of looting and rioting amid unrest surrounding high-profile police protests in May.
Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren announced a total of 113 felony and misdemeanor charges leveled against 57 individuals. All stem from activity around protests that began May 30 in Tampa that turned violent.
“Officers did their part to stop these crimes as they happened and identify the suspects—now it’s time for us to do our part: prosecuting these defendants, holding them accountable for their actions, and preventing them from doing more harm to our community,” Warren said.
“These 57 people should not be confused with the large number of peaceful protestors in our community. 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.”
Protests erupted across the county the same weekend following the death of Minneapolis man George Floyd at the hands of a police officer.
Four individuals were charged with battery on law enforcement.
Additional charges brought against individuals include 52 for burglary and 13 for grand theft. That involved looting of property taking place during the protests. Within the charges were two for armed burglary and three for burglary during a state of emergency.
Prosecutors say businesses victimized include jewelry stores, clothing stores, convenience stores, cell phone stores, a department store, a sporting goods store, a fireworks store, a pawn shop and a car rental office.
Six charges of rioting or inciting a riot have been filed. One person was charged with fleeing police.
Three people were charged for illegally carrying concealed firearms, and one person was charged for being a felon in possession of a gun.
One individual faces a charge of cocaine possession.
A host of misdemeanor charges was also brought against individuals arrested. That includes 14 charges of petit theft.
One individual was charged with misdemeanor assault on an officer, separate from the felony charges. Ten people face charges of resisting arrest without violence.
One person faces charges of loitering and prowling.
Prosecutors also filed six charges of unlawful violation of “established emergency measures.”
Warren’s office in June announced initially it was choosing not to bring charges against 67 protestors.
Shortly after, prosecutors said they would bring charges against 11 more serious offenders.
More than 130 were arrested in connection to the protests.