June 5, 2020
By: Staff Report
TAMPA: Tampa PD released a report and video in response to the outrage seen in social media for arrest that were made on June 4th.
Two people, Marli Church and Stephanie Sanchez were arrested for assault on a Law Enforcement Officer (x2). Emadi Okwuosa was charged with rioting and inciting to riot.
The video can be seen here.
Tampa PD released a full report on their website with the details of the events:
A protest group marched through the downtown area, eventually turning eastbound on E. Scott St. heading towards the I-4/I-275 on-ramp. Officers on the Bicycle Squad attempted to get ahead of the crowd, riding eastbound on the north sidewalk of Scott St.
On June 4, Tampa Police provided traffic control and worked to ensure protesters had a safe venue to march and voice their concerns. There were three arrests made during the afternoon, each on felony charges.
A female, later identified as Marli Church, attempted to strike officers, thrusting the metal tip of an umbrella toward the face of a police officer who was on a bicycle. She then attempted to strike a second officer moments later. A male, identified as Emadi Okwuosa, used a bullhorn to incite the group in an attempt to disrupt the flow of traffic on the interstate. An additional female, identified as Stephanie Sanchez, attempted to strike officers.
While making the arrests, 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 subject 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 subjects being arrested, deterrent spray was deployed to prevent further advancement. The crowd then began to retreat.
Church and Sanchez were arrested and charged with two counts each of assault on a law enforcement officer. Okwuosa was arrested and charged with Inciting a Riot.
The officers of the Tampa Police Department will continue working to ensure the safety of all those wishing to protest. We will not accept any person who attempts to use the protest as an opportunity to engage in criminal activity.