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5 officers exposed to COVID-19, Tampa curfew continues following night of protests

Many protests started peacefully during the day, but some turned violent in Tampa.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Largely peaceful protests and gatherings have wrapped up Sunday in Tampa in response to police brutality and the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Images during the day contrast with those from Saturday evening into the nighttime hours, when protests -- many of which started peacefully -- turned violent in Tampa. People were seen looting businesses and throwing objects near the Tampa Police Department substation near N. 30th Street and E. Busch Boulevard.

At night, law enforcement and fire rescue responded to even more reports of fire, looting and clashes in the area of University Mall.

Across Tampa, Lakeland and St. Petersburg on Sunday, gatherings have not escalated to such a level.

RELATED: Gov. Ron DeSantis deploys 100 National Guard members to Tampa

RELATED: What you need to know about Tampa's curfew order

RELATED: People set fire to Tampa gas station, loot businesses after hectic protest nearby

10 Tampa Bay is committed to covering the community conversation, with reports from where protests are ongoing.

Audience discretion is advised with some of the following videos and images.

11:45 a.m. (June 1)

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."

"COVID-19 is a concern," Mayor Jane 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."

11:30 a.m. (June 1)

During a press conference Monday morning, Mayor Jane Castor said the curfew would remain in effect, starting again at 7:30 p.m. tonight.

6:15 a.m. (June 1)

Curfews in the city of Tampa and Polk County lifted Monday morning after a night of protests. 

Tampa's curfew runs 7:30 p.m. to 6 a.m. and applies to all businesses and people until further notice. 

The curfew for Polk County ran 10 p.m. Sunday through 5 a.m. Monday.

RELATED: More than 40 people arrested for rioting, burglary following Saturday protests in Tampa

Fourteen people were arrested late Sunday night after St. Petersburg Police said people tore water meter covers off and threw them at officers late Sunday, ending a day when most protesters were peaceful.

There had been gatherings of people throughout the day in front of the St. Petersburg Police Department at the corner of 1st Avenue N. and 13th Street N. Videos on social media showed people staging along Beach Drive NE, as well, in protest of law enforcement brutality after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody.

Until about 10 p.m., there was a sense of calm at both scenes.

RELATED: St. Petersburg police arrest 14 people following protests

May 31

11:23 p.m.: St. Petersburg police said they are working to clear people out of the area after some threw rocks and bottles at the department building. Officers deployed smoke bombs to get some of them away.

Spokeswoman Yolanda Fernandez said people who did not leave were arrested. It's not yet known how many people were arrested.

10:50 p.m.: Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister issued a statement following a day of protests Sunday. The statement thanked the county for a violence-free evening. 

In a Facebook post that accompanied the statement, the sheriff's office said, "Together we can move forward toward change."

Sheriff Chronister: "In consultation with other county leaders, Hill... sborough County has decided to not institute a curfew. I refuse to punish law-abiding citizens due to the lawless actions of a handful of criminals. Your Sheriff's Office stands ready to deal with any threat."

10 p.m.: A curfew order is effect overnight across Polk County in accordance with a local state of emergency, according to the sheriff's office. 

The curfew runs from 10 p.m. Sunday through 5 a.m. Monday.

Sheriff Grady Judd cited reports of injuries to law enforcement officers and citizens in Lakeland following a Sunday afternoon protest. 

RELATED: Polk County declares emergency, curfew in place overnight

9:29 p.m.: There remains some activity in the area of Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, though it largely appears more subdued than what was seen earlier in the evening.

9:06 p.m.: Tampa police warn the crowd they have three minutes to leave the area. If they do not do so, "You may be arrested or subject to other law enforcement action."

8:53 p.m.: Two protesters were reportedly shot by rubber bullets during an ongoing protest at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park.

8:49 p.m.: St. Petersburg police report there are protesters moving about the downtown area on Central Avenue, but they have been peaceful.

No one has been arrested and there are no reports of damage.

8:38 p.m.: Tampa police made at least one arrest amid a protest at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park.

8:30 p.m.: Some people began throwing objects at Tampa police cars while police responded by deploying beanbags and pepper spray.

8:21 p.m.: A protest at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park in Tampa has been peaceful, with a smaller crowd located there, 10 Tampa Bay's Jennifer Titus reports.

8:13 p.m.: Several Tampa-area football players helped to lead cleanup efforts on Fowler Avenue after last night's vandalism and looting. 

7:38 p.m.: Tampa police at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park appeared to deploy pepper spray in an effort to disperse protesters as the city's curfew went into effect.

7:07 p.m.: Tires were set on fire at the intersection of MLK Jr. Blvd and N 22nd Street in Tampa.

6:28 p.m.: Police say tear gas was not used on people trying to work their way onto the I-4 and I-275 bypass but instead it was pepper spray. Police said a crowd was trying to break the windows of cop cars. 

6:07 p.m.: It's believed tear gas was deployed as protesters tried to work their way onto the Interstate 275 overpass at Ashley Drive.

5:39 p.m.: Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan said he does not yet know if police will ask protesters to leave when the city's curfew goes into effect.

5:30 p.m.: Tampa Mayor Jane Castor discusses the city's curfew order. The citywide curfew will apply to all people and businesses from 7:30 p.m. to 6 a.m. until further notice. 

RELATED: What you need to know about Tampa's curfew order

Mayor Jane Castor and Chief Brian Dugan give an update on the curfew order being put in place for The City of Tampa

Posted by Tampa Police Department on Sunday, May 31, 2020

5:20 p.m.: Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister emailed a survey to people who live in the county, asking if they thought a countywide curfew was necessary. Chronister later said such an order is not needed.

"In consultation with other county leaders, Hillsborough County has decided to not institute a curfew. I refuse to punish law-abiding citizens due to the lawless actions of a handful of criminals. Your Sheriff’s Office stands ready to deal with any threat."

5:15 p.m.: Protesters make their way to Tampa City Hall, with people of all ages gathered in the crowd.

5:05 p.m.: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis activated the National Guard, sending 100 Guard members to Tampa to support law enforcement and the community, his office said.

4:49 p.m. Things are starting to get violent at a protest at MLK Jr. Boulevard and 22nd Street in Tampa. Police are telling protesters they have three minutes to leave and rubber bullets have been shot. 

4:21 p.m.: The city of Tampa will implement a citywide curfew applying to all businesses and people from 7:30 p.m. to 6 a.m. until further notice, according to a news release.

"What I saw last night was not a call for voices to be heard, ideas to affect change, or ways to shine a light on inequality," Mayor Jane Castor said in the release. "What I saw was shameful, what I saw was heartbreaking. 

"And what I saw did not reflect our community and the values we share. We stand in solidarity with all of the peaceful protests happening in our city and around the country."

People found violating the curfew are subject to up to a year in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.

4:09 p.m.: The intersection at N. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and N. 22nd Street is closed as people protest. Florida Highway Patrol troopers keep watch as people chant, "Say his name, George Floyd!"

3:59 p.m.: Some people who participated in the earlier march at Cyrus Greene Park are attempting to close Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

3:53 p.m.: People ended an hours-long march at Tampa's Cyrus Greene Park.

12:47 p.m.: Hundreds of people walked through Lakeland's Munn Park to demand justice for Floyd.

10 Tampa Bay reporter Emerald Morrow spoke with some of the protesters: Michelle Fogleson of Winter Haven said it's just as important for white people to protest police brutality

10:25 a.m.: Tampa Mayor Jane Castor said Saturday's violence and looting "are not the answer." She and Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan spoke in response to the night's developments, saying they are in "discussions" about a curfew in the city but are needing to work it out with Hillsborough County.

Regardless, people are asked to stay home to avoid more unrest. Dugan said police will take "an even harder stance tonight."

RELATED: 'Stay home': Tampa Police Chief Dugan says to peaceful protesters

RELATED: More than 40 people arrested for rioting, burglary following Tampa protests

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