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Live: In St. Petersburg, protesters issue set of demands

Protests continue around Tampa Bay the night before Independence Day
Tee Wacker, Brey Johnson and Chris Tapper listen to someone speak during as the group discusses racism, voting and policing ahead of a protest at Curtis Hixon Waterfront in Tampa Friday night.
Tee Wacker, Brey Johnson and Chris Tapper listen to someone speak during as the group discusses racism, voting and policing ahead of a protest at Curtis Hixon Waterfront in Tampa Friday night. [ IVY CEBALLO | Times ]
Published Jul. 3, 2020
Updated Jul. 4, 2020

Another night brought another round of protests across the Tampa Bay regional. Here’s a rundown:

Update: 8:40 p.m.

Protesters in St. Petersburg are distributing fliers with a set of demands.

First on the list: Cutting funding for St. Petersburg police by 30 percent — or nearly $35 million — and redirect that money for such services as housing, public transportion, education and minority community outreach by 2022. The police department’s budget this year is approximately $115 million, which accounts for about 41 percent of the city’s general fund budget.

Second: separate calls related to health care, including mental health, from police calls.

Another demand is that law enforcement drop charges against protesters. Protesters also call a ban on chokeholds, which St. Petersburg police say are already prohibited.

Update: 8:15 p.m.

Meanwhile, in St. Petersburg, a small group was gathering Friday night. Tonight’s itinerary: a march through the city’s Old Southeast neighborhood.

Update: 7:40 p.m.

The protesters took a knee outside an entrance to the old Hillsborough County Courthouse. Then they marched back to Curtis Hixon Park, where the protest came to an end.

Update: 7 p.m.

About 30 people gathered in Tampa’s Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park shortly before 6 p.m. on Friday. From there they planned to March to Tampa police headquarters then the Hillsborough County Courthouse.

They have called on State Attorney Andrew Warren to release fellow protesters arrested for various offense over weeks of vigils and marches since the death of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis on May 25. They did it again Friday night.

Warren has dropped unlawful assembly charges against 67 people. More than 100 others still face more serious protest-related charges.

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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.