TAMPA, Fla (WFLA) — Local agencies are reporting a small number of arrests after what they’re calling mostly peaceful protests around Tampa Bay last weekend.
In press conferences held Monday, the Tampa Police Department and the Lakeland Police Department both said protests were large but peaceful as people gathered to exercise their First Amendment right.
“Yesterday afternoon we had the Black Lives Matter march – probably one of the largest marches that I’ve seen in my 38 years with the Tampa Police Department,” Chief Brian Dugan said. “The Black Lives Matter march was peaceful, they worked with us, they told us who the agitators were.”
While Tampa police were unable to pinpoint just how many people were out protesting over the weekend, they had a total of 62 arrests – 41 on Saturday and 21 on Sunday – for burglary and disobeying the curfew, among other things.
In Lakeland, around 500 protestors participated in what Polk County Sherriff Grady Judd and Lakeland Police Chief Ruben Garcia both agreed were peaceful protests at Munn Park and the Lakeland Police Station.
Both agencies reported a total of two arrests – equivalent to less than one percent of the total number of people.
Across the bridge, the St. Petersburg Police Department estimated between 500 and 600 protestors, with only 2.5 to 3 percent of them arrested.
More protests are planned, with people gathering in St. Petersburg Monday afternoon.