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Chief Castor mingles with late-night protesters

Published Aug. 30, 2012

TAMPA — Protesters gathered late Wednesday at a security checkpoint near the Tampa Bay Times Forum got an unexpected visitor: police Chief Jane Castor.

The protesters had held several marches and rallies during the day to complain about what they called a police state.

At the late gathering, several of the protestors lay down in the street.

But when the chief mingled with the protesters and journalists gathered there as the convention was preparing to adjourn for the night, it was strictly civil.

One of the protesters told a story of mistreatment at the hands of police. Castor jotted down her contact information.

Throughout the day, the police had kept mostly to the sidelines of the unplanned rallies and marches and not intervened.

"We're allowing people to exercise their rights," Castor said.