As host to the Republican National Convention, Tampa Bay has the national spotlight shining brightly throughout the city. Reports suggest that with the mass influx of people, crime rates have actually gone down considerably. This trend is being attributed to both the added force of 4,000 law enforcement officers that were brought in to maintain the peace and the recent downpour of rain brought by Hurricane Isaac.
Nonetheless, people have taken to the streets to voice their opinions and protest various issues. Protestors have reportedly been peaceful and though only a few arrests have been made, it is only midweek and it is important to be aware of the potential violence that can occur.
Originally, city officials worried that the riots that took place last year in St. Paul, Minnesota, at the Convention would repeat themselves here in Florida. Last year in St. Paul, thousands of protesters packed the city and hundreds were arrested during the Convention’s first day and hundreds more on its last. Some smashed cars, punctured tires and threw bottles in a confrontation with police. Fortunately, violence has not tainted the peaceful assembly of concerned citizens here in Tampa.
Ultimately, protesters can say and do whatever they want as long as they don’t cross the line into criminal behavior. Behavior such as: carrying weapons, fighting, physically opposing police officers and/or concealing your identity is illegal and may lead to arrest and other criminal consequences.
If you have questions about your Constitutional rights or are concerned about the potential dangers of protesting and getting arrested, call Blick Law Firm today at (813) 931-0840. Schedule a free 15 minute consultation with attorney Michael Blickensderfer today. Think quick, call Blick!