Tampa Mayor Jane Castor has announced that she will keep in place the citywide curfew that applies to all businesses and persons within the City of Tampa from 7:30 PM – 6:00 AM until further notice. Executive Order 2020-18 applies to all individuals and businesses within City of Tampa limits.
Protests stemming from the death in Minnesota of George Floyd who died in police custody one week ago today in Minneapolis. For the most part protests in the Bay Area and around the nation have been peaceful, but there have been cases of vandals taking advantage of the situation to burn cars, buildings as well as looting stores.
“COVID-19 is a concern,” Mayor Castor said. “Bringing hundreds of individuals in close contact, especially when the black community is at higher risk, that’s something that I’m hoping people keep in mind when they’re attending these masks. Reminding everyone to wear masks and help stop the spread.”
At a press conference earlier today Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan said five officers were exposed Sunday to someone who tested positive for coronavirus. Dugan said the department is still trying to determine whether the person was a demonstrator.
“My concern…is that they’re in the face of our officers,” Dugan said. “It’s difficult for our officers to wear masks when they’re out there in the heat and sweating. It’s problematic. It’ll be interesting to see how many people get exposed—especially for our first responders.”
Meanwhile, as announced yesterday Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis activated members of the National Guard to respond to Tampa following a night of violent protests.
The governor’s office confirmed 100 Guard members were sent to the city on Saturday, with others deployed across the state in an effort to “support law enforcement” and the greater communities.
Mayor Castor during a news conference Sunday was quick to point out that the National Guard was activated as a “preventative move.” They will be stationed at different locations across the city that are considered “high-value” targets of looters and agitators.
Castor added they might, too, move to areas where officials received information of potential vandalism.
“They will be utilized as preventative measures for that,” she said.