TAMPA — A prominent Black Lives Matter activist was detained Wednesday night by police while leaving a downtown protest and then hospitalized, according to fellow protesters and video posted to social media.
Jae Passmore, who has been at the forefront of the Tampa protest movement the past three months, is the protester seen on the ground in video posted to social media, surrounded by a dozen or so Tampa police officers, according to the posts and witnesses.
Protestors shouted at officers to free her. Activists also posted that Passmore was hospitalized after the incident. Her medical condition was not known late Wednesday.
Passmore was injured during a June 21 protest in Hyde Park Village when pickup truck driver swore at demonstrators, drove over a median and struck her.
No arrest has been made in that case. Tampa police said in July that the incident was being investigated.
There was no record of Passmore being booked into the Hillsborough County jail as of midnight. The Tampa Police Department did not announce any arrests Wednesday night.
Kai Robinson, 22, said he was one of the protestors who was with Passmore when she was detained. He described the scene as a “bit of a frenzy.”
He said officers quickly emerged from unmarked police vehicles and descended on Passmore, then took her to the ground. She was on the ground for about 20 minutes, Robinson said.
Robinson said officers appeared to target Passmore for arrest but protesters at the scene did not know what charge she faces.
“They specifically wanted Jae, they went for Jae and they didn’t even look at anybody else,” Robinson said.
Protestors in the video could be heard screaming “get off of her like that” and “get off of her head like that.”
Two protests took place Wednesday night, Robinson said. He said he was with Passmore’s group leaving a protest when officers appeared.
The most recent protest flashpoint have been over downtown murals.
Earlier this month a pro-police group painted a “Back the Blue” mural in the middle of E Madison Street outside Tampa Police Headquarters before obtaining the proper permitting. No one from that group has faced sanctions.
Black Lives Matter protesters have attempted to paint their own mural, and those efforts have results in arrests. Seven people were arrested while painting a mural at Curtis Hixon Park on Saturday. Three told the Tampa Bay Times that they were mistreated by Hillsborough County sheriff’s deputies during the booking process at Orient Road Jail.
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