Two Accused of Assaulting a Police Officer During Protest
A third person was accused of inciting a riot, Tampa police say.
TAMPA – Officers arrested two women and one man in connection with an altercation during a George Floyd protest Thursday (June 4), the Tampa Police Department said.
Marli Marie Church, 17, and Stephanie Alexandra Sanchez, 21, were each charged with two counts of Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer. Emadi A. Okwuosa, 22, was charged with one count of Rioting/Inciting to Riot. All are felonies.
A protest group marched through the downtown area Thursday (June 4), eventually turning east on E Scott Street heading towards the I-4/I-275 on-ramp. Officers on the bicycle squad said they tried to get ahead of the crowd by riding east on the north sidewalk of Scott Street.
Church tried to strike officers, thrusting the metal tip of an umbrella toward the face of a police officer who was on a bicycle. Police said she then tried to strike a second officer.
Okwuosa, used a bullhorn to incite the group to try to disrupt the flow of traffic on the interstate. Sanchez, police said, also tried to strike officers.
While making the arrests, police said, the crowd became agitated and began approaching the officers who were making an arrest. Additional officers began commanding those in the crowd to back up. People continued to approach officers in an aggressive manner while objects were being thrown in the officers’ direction.
One person in the crowd sprayed a fire extinguisher in the direction of officers, in effort to limit visibility. To ensure the safety of the arresting officers and the three being arrested, police said, deterrent spray was used to stop the advancing crowd, which began to retreat. (Click here for Tampa police video of scene.)
MAIN PHOTO IS SCREEN GRAB FROM TAMPA POLICE VIDEO.
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