Tampa protesters say last night’s rally ended with police violently detaining organizer


Protesters and police violently clashed at last night's rally in downtown Tampa, says multiple reports.

At around 7 p.m. Wednesday night, roughly 40 people gathered near City Hall for the "Tampa People's Protest," which was met by about 20 "Back the Blue" counter-protesters. Both groups collided on Franklin St, where a verbal confrontation took place, says the Tampa Police Department.

TPD says Jae Passmore, one of Tampa's protest organizers, pushed a "Back the Blue" protester from behind. "Officers attempted to place her into custody at which time she began to resist arrest by pulling away from the arresting officers," says TPD.  "The defendant then fell onto the ground as she was being taken into custody. Handcuffs were placed on her as she continued to resist."

The department uploaded a video of the alleged assault to YouTube. At the 2:11 minute mark, Passmore, who is wearing an orange shirt, can be seen putting her left hand on the back of a "Back The Blue" supporter after the two appear to bump into each other.

RELATED: He was violently arrested and beaten by Tampa police officers, but the report never mentioned a word of it

But protesters say Passmore was aggressively arrested by TPD officers. Numerous social media posts show Passmore laying on the ground surrounded by Tampa Police officers. Protesters argue that things turned violent when plain-clothed police officers jumped out of unmarked cars and pushed Passmore. The officers then stopped a medic from assisting her, and then didn't provide Passmore with medical help for at least 11 minutes, protesters say. One posts says she was convulsing.

TPD says Passmore was served with a notice to appear for charges of battery and resist arrest without violence charge, while she was in the hospital. The extent of her injuries is unknown.

This is the second time Passmore was presumably injured at a Tampa protest. On June 21, Passmore was injured after a driver in a pickup truck driver drove through demonstrators in Hyde Park Village. While TPD says that incident is under investigation, they have yet to make an arrest.

UPDATE: This story has been updated with comment from TPD.

- Colin Wolf

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08/12/2020 | Photos by Dave Decker