‘Different tone today’: Tampa mayor, police chief address Saturday ‘riots’

Local News

TAMPA (WFLA) — The Tampa mayor and police chief addressed the city with a somber tone Sunday morning after arresting 41 people for riots and burglaries the night before.

“What I saw last night happens in other cities,” Mayor Jane Castor said. “It doesn’t happen in Tampa. We’re better than that.”

Castor said Saturday night’s actions, which included burglary, rioting, and setting fire to five businesses, was not a call to shine light on inequality.

“Physical violence and looting are not the answer,” she said. “It’s simply criminal behavior that solves nothing.”

Police Chief Brian Dugan said 40 businesses were damaged or looted, five were set on fire, and 27 police cars were damaged.

“I would expect more arrests tonight if we have a similar situation,” Dugan said.

RELATED: Police, deputies use tear gas to disperse ‘rioters and looters’ at University Mall in Tampa

Dugan and Castor both expressed their appreciation for peaceful protesting, with Castor emphasizing that there are still “systemic issues that must be addressed in our community.”

While peaceful protesting is encouraged, Dugan is asking all peaceful protesters to stay home Sunday.

“If you’re a peaceful protester, do not come out tonight,” he said. “There will be a different tone today.”

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