TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Prosecutors have filed felony charges against dozens of people who allegedly looted, caused destruction or fought with officers during days of unrest following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, the Hillsborough State Attorney’s Office said.
According to a news release, 57 people are charged with various crimes, including 52 counts of burglary, 13 counts of grand theft, and four counts of battery on a law enforcement officer.
The state’s attorney’s office is reviewing evidence from an additional 45 felony cases and said more charges are expected.
The arrests stem from a number of incidents that occurred on May 30, when protests unfolded over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
A Champs store and a Mobile gas station were set ablaze and a number of businesses in the area were destroyed or looted. About 200 people were caught on camera looting a Walmart on East Fletcher Avenue on May 30, after breaking into the store with hammers and other blunt objects.
Warren said the 57 defendants are accused of ransacking and causing destruction at 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. Some fought with officers who tried to arrest them.
“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.”