TAMPA, Fla. - Early Friday morning, the Hillsborough State Attorney's Office announced several dozen more charges will be filed for looting and rioting that began on the night of May 30.
State Attorney Andrew Warren announced an initial set of charges on June 18. Now, with the latest felony charges, there are a total of 57 people facing a total of 113 charges.
The suspects face charges for ransacking stores, causing destruction and fighting with officers who tried to arrest them.
"These 57 people should not be confused with the large number of peaceful protesters in our community," he said in a statement. "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.”
The felony charges filed so far break down as follows:
- Burglary of a Structure* – 52 counts
- Grand Theft – 13 counts
- Rioting/Inciting to Riot – 6 counts
- Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer – 4 counts
- Carrying a Concealed Firearm – 3 counts
- Felon in Possession of a Firearm – 1 count
- Fleeing to Elude Law Enforcement – 1 count
- Possession of Cocaine – 1 count
*includes 2 counts of Armed Burglary of a Structure and 3 counts of Burglary of a Structure During a State of Emergency
Misdemeanor charges associated with these same defendants:
- Petit Theft – 14 counts
- Resisting Arrest Without Violence – 10 counts
- Unlawful Violation of Established Emergency Measures – 6 counts
- Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer – 1 count
- Loitering or Prowling – 1 count
An additional 45 felony cases are still being reviewed and more charges could come.
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 were among businesses that were victimized, according to the state attorney's office.
Police brutality protests sparked across the country, including in the Tampa Bay area, after the death of George Floyd. However, during that last weekend of May, some protests turned violent, including in Tampa.
There was damage and crime in the University Mall area and other areas of the county, including a Riverview gun shop.