TAMPA, Fla. — 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.
"Yesterday, @GovDeSantis activated the @FLGuard. Currently there are 150 guardsmen in Miramar,150 in Camp Blanding & 100 arrived in Tampa.These specially trained units support law enforcement in many ways i.e. traffic & crowd control, all to preserve the peace & public safety."
Tampa Mayor Jane Castor during a news conference Sunday said 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.
The city of Tampa is under a citywide curfew from 7:30 p.m. through 6 a.m. until further notice in an effort to quell any potential looting. Hillsborough County is not subject to the curfew order.
Protests in Tampa on Sunday largely have been quieter than Saturday night, when people threw objects at police and set fires to businesses in the area of Busch Boulevard and Fowler Avenue. Officers in kind deployed tear gas and other control measures.
In cities across the country, including Tampa Bay, people have been protesting police brutality in the wake of George Floyd's death in Minneapolis police custody.
Floyd died Monday after officer Derek Chauvin was seen on video kneeling on Floyd's neck as he pleaded, "I can't breathe." Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd's death.
Chauvin and three other officers were fired.
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