TAMPA — Expect anarchists to bait police outside the Republican National Convention, police Chief Jane Castor says.
The warning, along with tips and encouragement, is presented in a four-minute video featuring Castor and Hillsborough Sheriff David Gee. It will be sent to all 60 agencies expected to help local RNC security efforts.
In the video, Castor explains that anarchists will likely be a threat to the peace in downtown Tampa streets during the August convention.
"In all situations we fear the unknown," she says. "With RNC it's the anarchists.
"But our intelligence shows us that these groups deliberately try to deceive or mislead law enforcement into believing they are a serious threat just to bait us into action.
"In reality, they are most often unorganized, misguided individuals who engage in underhanded tactics to disrupt peaceful demonstrations."
She explains that the baiting is an attempt to prompt law enforcement action, which likely will be captured on video and "shown to the world as excessive force."
Castor says: "But we will be very calculated in our response to ensure it is strategic and controlled."
Gee adds that it is law enforcement's plan to target these people and remove them from the area.
"All eyes will be on us," Castor says in the video. "Everything we do will be videotaped and photographed, so let's show the world we are the best in our profession."