The Hillsborough County State Attorney said Thursday that he will charge 11 people with felonies related to riots and looting that took place in Tampa late last month.
They're the first formal criminal charges in Hillsborough County stemming from unrest that followed the death of George Floyd, the black man who died May 25 at the hands of police in Minneapolis.
While a vast majority of the Tampa area protests over Floyd’s death have been peaceful, demonstrations on May 30 and 31 devolved into violence and damage to businesses near the University of South Florida. Officers had objects thrown at them, and a gas station and a sporting goods store were set on fire.
Eleven people face 15 criminal charges that include burglary, rioting, battery on a law enforcement officer, and cocaine possession.
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State Attorney Andrew Warren said many of those arrested have criminal histories.
“There’s a difference between the people you see out peacefully protesting, and the people committing the crimes,” he said during a morning news conference.
The charges come three days after Warren announced he would not prosecute 67 people arrested for unlawful assembly during a June 3 protest.