Timeline of Events
March 6th, 2023
Tampa Bay SDS protest demands USF president Rhea Law condemn DeSantis House Bill 999 which will ban ethnic studies, women and gender’s studies, cultural groups and programs as well as take away rights to tenure for faculty
USF police attack, grope, and charge 4 protesters with felonies and misdemeanors despite video footage showing police attack: Laura Rodriguez, Chrisley Carpio, Jeanie Kida, Gia Davila
At this point in time, the charges are, for each member: 1 count of misdemeanor disruption of campus, 1 count of resisting arrest with nonviolence, and 1 count of felony battery of law enforcement
These felonies so far carry up to 5 years of prison time for each person
At around 11pm, after hundreds of phone calls and thousands of dollars in money donated to a bail fund, the 4 SDSers are released from Orient Road Jail
Tampa 5 protester and admissions evaluator, Chrisley Carpio, is put on administrative leave by her employer, USF, in preparation for termination
The students receive first notices of suspension and numerous code of conduct charges which put expulsion and suspension on the table
Student and community protesters host a press conference and rally with the then Tampa 4 saying, “Drop the Charges!”
The Tampa 4, soon to be 5, hire criminal defense attorney Michelle Lambo, who takes on their case pro bono.
They plead not guilty to all charges
Student and community protesters hold rally outside the state attorney’s office to demand justice of the then Tampa 4
Union campus worker and Tampa 5 protester, Chrisley Carpio, faces predetermination of termination hearing (pre-firing hearing) with USF Human Resources:
The letter lies and pretends Carpio did not leave the building prior to arrest. She and 2 of the other protesters were actually arrested outside, and not inside, the USF administration building at which the protest took place.
5th member of the Tampa 5, Lauren Pineiro, receives notice from USF about a direct file to the state attorney with identical criminal charges to the 4 arrested protesters, carrying up to 5 years in prison
The code of conduct hearings for the student protesters begin
The Tampa 5 decide that they will not write letters of admission, guilt, and apology to USF and the police.
Students hold statewide mobilization with organizations from across Florida to show solidarity with the Tampa 5 and defend the right to student protest.
State Attorney Susan Lopez, Prosecutor Justin Diaz, and USF retaliate by adding an additional battery of law enforcement felony count to 3 of the 5 protesters.
As a result, Laura Rodriguez, Jeanie Kida, and Chrisley Carpio now each face up to 10 years in prison instead of 5.
USF officially fires campus worker Chrisley Carpio and releases report siding with the cops who brutalized students protesters
May 5th & 6th
With the support of call-ins and protesters, despite the code of conduct hearings, Gia Davila and Lauren Pineiro graduate from USF (Pineiro with Honors)
The Tampa 5 have their first court appearance
A conference of 130 attendees gather in Tampa, FL, and form the Emergency Committee to Defend the Tampa 5
Speakers and members include: New Students for a Democratic Society National, Black Lives Matter Grassroots Florida, Hillsborough NAACP, West Central Florida Labor Council, National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, American Civil Liberties Union, New College student protesters, Florida International University Young Democratic Socialists of America, Florida Rising, and more.
The West Central Florida Labor Council releases a resolution calling on State Attorney Susan Lopez to drop the charges on the Tampa 5.
The Tampa 5 have their second court appearance
The Emergency Committee to Defend the Tampa 5 have a national day of protest
The Tampa 5 have their third court appearance