While everyone can agree that it is a perfectly normal thing to engage in protest, one thing you can’t agree to is the idea that you can’t totally let them interrupt every single aspect of society.
Imagine you were watching a baseball game and all of a sudden someone ran out to steal the bats to protest trees being cut down.
The fact of it happens to be that there are times that when people are arrested that there is a good reason. And you cannot have mobs interrupting that.
On Monday, Tampa Police Department Chief Brian Dugan told the media his force was running on empty.
“The police, we always have everybody’s back and nobody has our back,” he said, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
“Right now the officers feel like they can’t win. And I would have to agree with them.”
There were several reasons the Florida police chief gave for the depleted morale, including the difficulty of walking the fine line between giving protesters space and having a presence at events that can turn volatile.
And then there was the assault on Saturday.
Tampa police were called out to an intersection at 1 a.m. Saturday morning on a report of shots fired and a victim down, according to WFTS-TV.
Police say there weren’t any gunshots and there wasn’t any victim down. Instead, there was, by all accounts, a massive crowd waiting to ambush them, throwing bottles and glass at the officers and jumping on police vehicles.
“There were hundreds of them,” Dugan said, Fox News reported. “Hundreds. We actually ended up having to call every single police officer that was available that night to respond there, from New Tampa to South Tampa.”
“It’s an ambush. I have no other way to describe it,” Dugan said. “When there are that many people out there and clearly no one had been shot. It was just a set-up to get the cops there.”
WTVT-TV reported over 100 officers had to be called to the scene to assist.
Somehow, only two were injured. One was hit on the side of the head, the other in the back of the head with a bottle.
One person was taken into custody for resisting with violence, failure to obey a lawful order and violation of probation. More arrests are possible, Dugan said, once they look through dash camera footage from the police cars.
“There have been some violent acts. People are acting out. They think they can get away with doing whatever they want toward the cops. We’re going to use the necessary force to take people into custody. I think that’s what people need to understand,” Dugan said.