The Tampa Bay Times reports that a Florida state prosecutor is pursuing 264 charges, including looting and attacking the police, in connection with the riots and looting that took place on May 30th in the Tampa area.
“The 264 charges filed to date make it clear that we will prosecute those who seek to harm our community,” said Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren, the top prosecutor.
Laying down the law
Most of the charges, as stated, stem from what happened on the night of May 30th.
The Tampa Bay Police Department reports that, on that evening, 23 businesses were looted during protests in the name of George Floyd, a Black man who was killed while being arrested in Minneapolis on May 25. ABC Action News even managed to catch some looters breaking into a jewelry store called Gold N Diamond.
According to Breitbart, “Police reports say at least five individuals were arrested for attempting to steal at least $50,000 in goods from the jewelry store. Officers also arrested multiple juveniles, including a 15-year-old-girl and a 16-year-old boy. Both were Tampa Bay residents.”
Warren has stated that 120 people will be charged in connection with what happened on this night. In addition to looting and attacking police, other charges include burglary, theft, and criminal mischief.
There is also a reckless driving charge that Warren will pursue against 21-year-old Noah Armstrong, who stands accused of driving through a protest on July 4th.
Warren, on the other hand, has decided against bringing many other charges, including against those who painted a “Back the Blue” mural outside of the Tampa Police Department.
“These types of cases involve tough decisions,” Warren said, adding, “it is counterproductive to criminally prosecute people who are exercising their First Amendment rights — especially when other options exist to address questionable behavior, such as civil citations.”
Accordingly, Warren has also decided against prosecuting those protestors who painted over the “Back the Blue” mural, along with many others who really were trying to peaceably protest.
An example to follow
Warren seems to be going about this in a very judicious manner, which is earning him praise. But, most importantly, it is good to see that there is at least one prosecutor out there who is willing to hold the rioters who have caused so much destruction responsible.
Presently, we can use more prosecutors like Warren.