Last month, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed an “anti-riot” bill into law which increases law-enforcement’s power to crack down against civil unrest. During last week’s press conference, he said that anyone who harms a person, their property, or police officers need to stay out of the state, and if they do not, he warned of “swift” and “severe” consequences.
The governor gave these warnings during a press conference where he said the state would allocate $1000 dollars in bonuses to first responders. The Republican governor vowed to protect residents and police officers from rioting, vandalism, and violence.
“I think if you look around the country, what happens is, like Portland, these people riot every night,” DeSantis said. “They go, they get their mug shot, and then they get put right back on the street to do it again. That’s what we don’t want.”
He then added that “the minute you harm somebody else, or you harm somebody’s property, you do those types of things, the only way we’re going to put a stop to it is to have very swift penalties for it.”
The Governor pointed out that crime is sparking across the country in areas with lack of support for the police. “There’s a lot of places around this country that have not stood by law enforcement, and the tragedy of it is, you’re seeing a crime spike in certain parts of our country like we haven’t seen in decades,’ he said. “The people that are going to be most affected by that are the most vulnerable members of our society.”
He went on to say that the reason he is issuing statewide bonuses is because it is imperative for law enforcement and the first responders to function and be able to serve the country as they have been.
“One of the reasons we are here today with the bonuses is because we know just how important that is. It tells people, ‘Hey, if you are in Portland and you think you can come down to Florida and do this, stay out of our state! We don’t want you coming down here and causing problems,’” DeSantis noted. “If anyone does cause these problems, if you try to burn something down, try [to] harm anybody, but particularly a police officer during one of these violent assemblies, there will be consequences. They will be swift and they will be severe. They will be such that people who see that happening will know that’s not something that we want to do going forward.”