Skip to Content

Tampa DA Drops Unjustified Charges Against Color Of Change and BLM Organizers

Media Contact:

For Immediate Release: September 4, 2020


Scott Roberts, Senior Director of Criminal Justice Campaigns at Color Of Change, issued this statement in response to Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren’s decision to drop charges against protesters in Tampa, including a Color Of Change organizer:  

“We applaud the decision by Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren to drop the charges against Color Of Change and Black Lives Matter activists. This intervention should signal to Tampa police that they must end their campaign of harassment and intimidation against Black protesters.

For months, the Tampa Police Department has been engaging in a systematic effort to intimidate, harass, and ultimately arrest Black Lives Matter activists in Tampa, Florida. On August 22, nine Pinellas County Sheriff’s deputies violently arrested a Color Of Change organizer in her home for what attorneys have called a ‘joke charge.’ At least three other community organizers have been arrested, detained, and traumatized for similar charges clearly meant to terrorize and threaten activists. As defenders of this police violence, Mayor Jane Castor and Police Chief Brian Dugan are endangering Black lives in Tampa.

“These intimidation tactics and violence against activists and organizers are not unique to Tampa. We’ve seen local police and federal agents target protesters in Portland, New York, Chicago, St. Louis, and in cities in every region of the country. Police Chief Dugan has repeatedly given his police department and lawless vigilantes tacit permission to target activists and protesters under the white supremacist-fuled banner of ‘law and order.’ 

“Over 50,000 Color Of Change members joined our campaign to prevent prosecution of protesters and fire Police Chief Dugan. While we are glad to see organizers freed of the bogus charges against them — there is no indication that Dugan or the Tampa police department will stop their efforts to harass and intimidate people speaking out against the corrupt, violent, and racist police in Tampa and around the country. Tampa must have new police leadership now. Black lives are at stake.” 


Media Contact:

For Immediate Release: September 4, 2020

Back to top