St. Pete protesters dance on Sunday; in Clearwater, vigil calls for action

Tampa protesters took the rest of the (rainy) night off. They danced and marched in St. Petersburg. And in Clearwater, there were calls to get more involved in the system.
Jayla El-Amin, 7, joins protest in St. Petersburg Sunday, June 14, 2020. "We wanted them to see what it means to come together and solve problems and speak out against racial injustice, and to learn lessons early so they will be less likely to become victims," said her mother, Kyandra Darling, 27.
Published June 14, 2020|Updated June 15, 2020

Update 11:15 p.m.

The dance party moved to St. Petersburg City Hall, where Sunday night’s march wrapped up.

So ends the Tampa Bay Times’ coverage of the day’s protests.

It was a quieter day in Tampa (and a rainy one.) But St. Petersburg protesters continued their nightly marches and at a vigil in Clearwater’s Coachman Park there was a call for the crowd to get more involved in the system to end police brutality and systemic racism.

Trump supporters also held a boat parade in Tampa Bay earlier in the day in honor of the president’s 74th birthday.

Here’s the Times coverage of the day’s activities, and a live recap below (and check out those dance moves):

Related: ‘We need to start right here.’ Call for action at Clearwater vigil
Related: As protests continue in Tampa and St. Pete, voting becomes a focus
Related: 'Trumptilla" boat parade celebrates the president by cruising along Tampa Bay
• • •

Update 10:15 p.m.

In St. Petersburg, it’s time to dance.

Protesters have reached 18th Avenue S and 16th Street S — where 18-year-old TyRon Lewis was killed by a St. Petersburg police officer in 1996, sparking two days of rioting — and started chanting, giving speeches and dancing.

• • •

Update 10 p.m.

In Clearwater, up to 300 people gathered Sunday evening in Coachman Park for a vigil protesting police brutality and racial inequality.

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Organizer Alexis Glasgow said she was inspired to coordinate the event after attending a protest in Dunedin where she felt black voices were amplified. Glasgow grew up in tight-knit Clearwater and wanted to offer community members information about ways they can support racial justice.

“Once they leave I hope they feel fulfilled and understand how they can keep taking action,” Glasgow said before the event.

The event started at about 7 p.m. Glasgow explained the history of police brutality to the crowd and the “defund the police” movement and its goals.

Clearwater Mayor Frank Hibbard then gave an opening address, and told the crowd that he has asked other Tampa Bay elected officials and government leaders to join him in a summit to discuss racial injustice.

The mayor also asked protestors not to make generalizations about all police departments and officers.

“The tactics that they used in Minneapolis are prohibited in the city of Clearwater,” he said.

City council member Kathleen Beckman encouraged protesters and residents to continue battling systemic racial inequality by protesting.

“The follow through is where real change happens,” she said.

• • •

9 p.m. Update

The evening march in St. Petersburg took off late due to weather, but has walked from downtown to south of Central Avenue.

The group of about 70 people seems tired tonight, but is accompanied by drums and music.

• • •

7 p.m. Update

St. Petersburg’s night protest was postponed for about an hour because of rain. There appear to be no more protests in Tampa. And a candlelight vigil is set to start in Clearwater.

• • •

6:20 p.m. Update

Peaceful afternoon protests in Tampa and St. Petersburg have wrapped up without any police presence on either side of the bay.

• • •

5:15 p.m Update

The march in Tampa has grown to about 100 people. After stopping at the Tampa Police Department, they’re on the move again.

In St. Petersburg, the protest has passed Sundial on the way back to City Hall. A tiny little girl, the niece of Terron Gland, got a chance with the bullhorn.

• • •

4:45 p.m. Update

About 50 protestors gathered at Joe Chillura Courthouse Square in Tampa, chanting and calling on State Attorney Andrew Warren to drop all charges against protestors who have been arrested in the past three weeks.

More than 60 people were arrested at that square on June 3. The group marched from there to the police department, which plans to come back.

The relatively small crowd had a new feature: chant cards:

St. Petersburg’s march turned into the Old Northeast neighborhood, encouraging bystanders to join them as they passed by. Some took them up on it. One elderly couple cursed at them instead, yelling to get out of the neighborhood.

• • •

3:30 p.m. Update

The brunch march in Tampa has ended where it began, back at the Winn Dixie in Hyde Park. Another Tampa gathering is expected to start at 4 p.m. downtown, this time in support of dropping charges against protestors.

In St. Petersburg, the march skipped its usual Beach Drive route for Bayshore Drive beside the water.

• • •

3:15 p.m. Update

In St. Petersburg, protest leader Terron Gland announces they are adding a name to the chants: Rayshard Brooks. Brooks, a 27-year-old black man, died Friday in Atlanta police custody, sparking the resignation of police Chief Erika Shields.

In Tampa, where the crowd grew to about 100 people, protest leaders are calling on Mayor Jane Castor to fire Police Chief Brian Dugan. People eating outside at restaurants have been supportive, clapping and cheering.

• • •

Protests for racial equality and against police brutality in the wake of George Floyd’s death are starting again on Sunday afternoon in Tampa and St. Petersburg, with the Atlanta death of Rayshard Brooks adding to the movement.

Related: Atlana officer fired after fatal shooting of Rayshard Brooks

In Tampa’s Hyde Park, a march scheduled for 1:30 began a little after 2. One of the planned chants there: “No breakfast, no peace, no brunch.”

More people joined the group as they began to move. At Luv Child, line cook Allen Bray, 28, and many of his coworkers came outside the restaurant to support and give water bottles to demonstrators. “We just wanted to show the community we agree with them and support them.”

In St. Petersburg, the daily 2 p.m. march from City Hall was also off to a delayed start. Some volunteers stayed back at tents to register voters.

• • •

Coverage of local and national protests from the Tampa Bay Times

HOW TO SUPPORT: Whether you’re protesting or staying inside, here are ways to educate yourself and support black-owned businesses.

WHAT PROTESTERS WANT: Protesters explain what changes would make them feel like the movement is successful.

WHAT ARE NON-LETHAL AND LESS-LETHAL WEAPONS? A guide to what’s used in local and national protests.

WHAT ARE ARRESTED PROTESTERS CHARGED WITH? About half the charges filed have included unlawful assembly.

CAN YOU BE FIRED FOR PROTESTING? In Florida, you can. Learn more.

HEADING TO A PROTEST? How to protect eyes from teargas, pepper spray and rubber bullets.