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Tampa Police Chief Won't Take Knee After Officers 'Ambushed'

Tampa Police Chief Won't Take Knee After Officers 'Ambushed'
Downtown Tampa is lit up in blue lights on April 16, 2020 in Tampa, Florida. 

By    |   Friday, 26 June 2020 04:18 PM

Tampa Police Chief Brian Duggan has decried what he called an “ambush” of nine officers last weekend, using the incident to criticize the local prosecutor for making a blanket claim that demonstrators are “peaceful.”

Duggan appeared on Fox News Channel’s morning show “Fox & Friends” on Thursday to repeat his assertion that his officers were lured to a popular location known for block parties with of a report of shooting last Saturday morning, only to be bombarded with bottles and other objects in a contained area. Two of the officers were injured.“

In this incident, we actually sent nine officers and it was clearly just a setup to get the cops there and surround them,” Dugan said according to the Tampa Bay Times. “This is what we’re dealing with — are these block parties? Are they demonstrations, you know? What are they?”

It followed two weeks after Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren declined to file charges against any of the 67 people arrested in Tampa on June 3 for unlawful assembly. The demonstration was one of numerous across the country after a black man, George Floyd, died in police custody on Memorial Day.

Warren issued a statement that, in part, read “prosecuting people for exercising their First Amendment rights doesn’t solve problems, it creates them.”

“Then we have our local prosecutor who is calling demonstrations, they’re just exercising their First Amendment rights and these are peaceful demonstrations,” Duggan said. “They’re not depicting the whole story. They’re leaving the portions out that (don’t) fit their narrative.”

“These peaceful protests, these demonstrations can turn on a dime,” he added.

During a Monday press conference, Duggan said his officers are beleaguered and morale is low.

“The police, we always have everybody’s back and nobody has our back,” he said. “Right now the officers feel like they can’t win. And I would have to agree with them.”

During Thursday’s Fox News Channel appearance, Duggan warned that the atmosphere was not conducive to public safety, especially with calls for “defunding” police departments.

“We need to be very careful about that,” he said. “The next time there’s an active shooter at the mall, the next time there’s an act of terrorism, or a school shooting, who’s going to respond?” 

But he struck a defiant stance about surrendering the streets.

“I assure you that we are not going to take a knee,” he said in a reference to some police officials who have kneeled with Black Lives Matter demonstrators. “We’re going to stand up. We’re going to defend our city. We’re the guardians of the city and we have no intentions of handing over the key to the city to these protesters who, quite frankly, are just not always peaceful.”

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Tampa Police Chief Brian Duggan has decried what he called an "ambush" of nine officers last weekend...
tampa, floyd, police, ambush
Friday, 26 June 2020 04:18 PM
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