City of Tampa, Polk County under curfew; streets calm after 2 days of protests

Local News

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Streets across Tampa Bay are now calm after two days full of protests.

News Channel 8 had team coverage across the area.

*COVERAGE OF SATURDAY NIGHT’S PROTEST*

Below are updates and videos from the protests that took place across Tampa Bay on Sunday. Warning: Some videos may contain graphic language or images, however, we will try to limit as much graphic content as possible.

Early Monday

12:05 a.m.: News Channel 8’s Justin Schecker is in St. Petersburg after 14 people were arrested for unlawful assembly.

Police threw smoke out to the protesters in hopes to disperse the crowd of close to 200, according to SPPD.

Police Chief Tony Holloway said peaceful protests began around noon and then around 11 p.m. someone in the crowd picked up one of the water meter covers at the SPPD station and threw it at the station.

Holloway started to see rocks, bottles and cinder blocks being thrown. At this point, the police declared an unlawful assembly and made the announcement to the crowd. Police deployed smoke bombs in hopes of dispersing the protesters. Many left the area, however, 14 people refused to leave and were arrested.

The police chief said Sheriff Gualtieri and his deputies were in the area to help with the arrests.

Interview with Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri

Interview with St. Petersburg Police Chief Tony Holloway

NIGHTLY RECAP:

Live interview with Sheriff Chad Chronister

Cleaning up the aftermath — News Channel 8’s Josh Benson reports

Police protect district headquarters in Belmont Heights — News Channel 8’s Jeff Patterson reports

Florida National Guard is called into Tampa — News Channel 8’s Marco Villarreal reports

Protests in St. Petersburg

Protests in Manatee County

Comparing Saturday night chaos to Sunday’s calm streets

Downtown Tampa protests — News Channel 8’s Justin Schecker reports

Protests across Lakeland — News Channel 8’s Staci DaSilva reports

10:10 p.m.: News Channel 8’s Jeff Patterson is at Belmont Heights where there is a heavy police presence.

9:50 p.m.: The Polk County Sheriff’s Office has announced the county will now be under a curfew going from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

8:40 p.m.: Eagle 8 HD found protesters still lined up at Curtis Hixon Park.

8:16 p.m.: News Channel 8’s Justin Schecker said many protesters on the Platt Street bridge have left the area.

8:10 p.m.: Tampa police just gave protesters on Platt Street bridge a five-minute warning to leave or they may face physical removal, according to News Channel’s Justin Schecker.

7:40 p.m.: Despite the City of Tampa curfew being in effect, protesters can still be seen on the Platt Street bridge near Bayshore Boulevard.

7:35 p.m.: News Channel 8’s Victoria Price is at the intersection of MLK and 22nd Street where protesters can still be seen, despite the curfew being in effect.

7:30 p.m.: The City of Tampa curfew is now in effect. It will last until 6 a.m.

7:30 p.m.: News Channel 8’s Justin Checker is on Bayshore Boulevard where demonstrators are seen on the Platt Street bridge.

7:25 p.m.: Former Hillsborough County football players helped assemble a clean-up crew Sunday afternoon.

7:25 p.m.: Protesters are seen heading down the Tampa Riverwalk.

7:20 p.m.: In Lakeland, News Channel 8’s Staci DaSilva is at the intersection of Memorial Boulevard and Florida Avenue where protesters have taken over the intersection.

https://twitter.com/WFLAStaci/status/1267234025942454272

7:10 p.m.: Tires can be seen set on fire in the middle of the N. 22nd Street and E. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard intersection.

7 p.m.: Protesters can be seen heading toward the Kennedy Boulevard drawbridge near the Hillsborough River.

6:48 p.m.: Florida National Guard vehicles were seen pulling into Raymond James Stadium.

6:40 p.m.: News Channel 8’s Avery Cotton found a sign outside the Publix located at 3838 Britton Plaza in Tampa which reads, “Out of an abundance of caution for the safety and security of our customers and associates, Publix Supermarket has closed at 6 p.m.”

6:30 p.m.: News Channel 8’s Justin Schecker is in Downtown Tampa where law enforcement is blocking the on-ramp to I-275 as protesters headed in that direction.

6:20 p.m.: A sheriff’s office K-9 attempting to get on the on-ramp of I-275 drove through protesters as they attempted to get on the interstate.

6:15 p.m.: Tampa residents receive emergency alert notifying them of the curfew which will go into effect at 7:30 p.m.

6:10 p.m.: News Channel 8’s Josh Benson speaks with Sheriff Chad Chronister

6:05 p.m.: “This is how the world will heal.”

6 p.m.: Protesters get pepper sprayed attempting to get on the I-275 on-ramp near Ashley Drive in Downtown Tampa.

5:30 p.m.: Mayor Castor speaks to media and public on curfew.

“It may be a slight inconvenience but if you exercise patience with us, stay at home this evening we will be able to quell any of this civil unrest and ensure that we don’t, as a city, endure any more property damage or injury to any of our citizens.”

“We understand the anger. We understand the frustration and that’s why… the law enforcement officers have worked very very hard to ensure that everyone, everyone has a safe platform in which to express themselves. But we are not going to tolerate violence and we are not going to tolerate the destruction of property within the city limits.”

“We are asking that all of the peaceful protesters to please go home. We have agitators that are out there. They are out there right now destroying property and so we need individuals to go home and stay home this evening.”

Full press conference

5:25 p.m.: Protests escalate in Lakeland. News Channel 8’s Staci DaSilva said tear gas has been deployed.

5:20 p.m.: News Channel 8’s Justin Schecker is outside of City Hall in Tampa where protesters are demanding to speak with Mayor Castor.

5:20 p.m.: News Channel 8’s Victoria Price is on Fowler Avenue looking at last night’s damage.

5:20 p.m.: Sheriff Chad Chronister announced a curfew will not be issued for Hillsborough County. He said he will “refuse to punish law-abiding citizens due to the lawless actions of handful of criminals.”

5 p.m.: The communications director for Governor Ron DeSantis announced via Twitter that the governor has activated the Florida National Guard across the state. One hundred guardsmen have been placed in Tampa Bay.

4:45 p.m.: A heavy police presence is seen pushing protesters back on N. 22nd Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Tampa.

4:40 p.m.: The City of Tampa, in response to Saturday night’s violence, will enact a citywide curfew, which will apply to all businesses and residents with in Tampa, from 7:30 p.m. to 6 a.m. until further
notice.

4:30 p.m.: News Channel 8’s Victoria Price spoke with Anicia Figueroa who was out cleaning up from Saturday night’s chaos.

4:30 p.m.: The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office announced seven people were arrested following the overnight protests, riots and looting in Tampa.

3:40 p.m.: Protesters have moved to the Lakeland Police Department and are blocking the intersection on Mass Avenue. News Channel 8’s Staci DaSilva is on the scene.

3 p.m.: Press conference with Sheriff Chronister and other Tampa Bay officials.

Hillsborough County NAACP President Yvette Lewis

“We are opposed to looting, destruction and violence. The most effective response for the community is use the tool to go out and vote. Show your strength at the ballot box. Let your voice be heard. Make a difference.”

Commissioner Les Miller

“When the sun sets and the demonstrations over, go home. Please go home.”

“We do not need the looting and the crimes that were committed last night. Somebody lost their job last night. At Champs, some mother, who is probably working two jobs, lost her job last night. A black man that owns Shoe Mountain lost his store last night and jobs were lost. We’re not going to tolerate that in our community.”

“I’m a 69-year-old black man that grew up in Tampa. I know what it’s like to be stopped by the police or the sheriff. I know what it’s like to be questioned for no reason at all. I know you’re hurting, we all are hurting, I am hurting.”

Sheriff Chronister

“You will not continue to spread fear and lawlessness in Hillsborough County for even one more night. So the choice is yours. Obey the law and respect your neighbors, their families and their property. Anything less is unacceptable.”

“I’d like to talk to anyone thinking of taking advantage of this moment, to break our laws and further incite violence and commit crimes. If you break the law, we will arrest you. We will lock you up.  If you harm others or their property, you’re going to jail. If you continue to betray the calls of peaceful protesters by inciting panic and looting, there will be consequences.” 

“Your sheriff’s office is here to protect you. We must and will protect all law-abiding citizens along with their property.”

“We must listen to those peaceful voices protesting this injustice and I promise to listen. But last night’s rioting and criminal behavior has no place in our community.”

“Last night was not reflective of who we are as a community. Last night is not the way anyone should react to hatred or racism. And let me be clear, the actions of ex-officer accused of murdering George Floyd are repulsive.”

Full press conference

1 p.m.: Demonstrators at Munn Park in Lakeland

12:50 p.m.: Westshore Mall announced it will close early to ensure safety.

12:30 p.m.: Protests outside of Tampa Police Department District 3

Noon: Tampa Mayor Jane Castor and Police Chief Brian Dugan address Saturday night’s riots.

6 a.m.: The aftermath from Saturday night.

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