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Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis warned rioters to stay out of his state during a press conference last week announcing support for law enforcement.
DeSantis last month signed an anti-riot bill into law that cracks down on violent rioting, such as the destructive anti-police riots the nation weathered last summer. The governor also boosted financial support for first responders in the state, doling out $1,000 bonuses.
Speaking about the lack of respect for law enforcement and the refusal of some leaders to crackdown on rioters, DeSantis warned left-wing activists in Portland to stay out of his state.
“Hey, if you’re in Portland, you think you can come down to Florida and do this?” DeSantis posed during the presser. “Stay out of our state, we don’t want you coming down here causing problems.”
“And if anyone does cause these problems, if you try to burn something down, if you try to harm anybody — but particularly a police officer — during one of these violent assemblies, there will be consequences,” DeSantis warned. “They will be swift, they will be severe, and they will be such that people that see that happen will know that that’s not something we want to do going forward.”
Earlier in the presser, DeSantis talked about the riots that swept the nation last summer, as well as the unwillingness of many liberal politicians to control the violence and destruction. “I think if you look around the country, what happens is, like in Portland, these these people riot every night, they go get their mug shot and then they get put right back on the street to do it again,” he said.
“That’s what we don’t want,” DeSantis continued. “What we want to say is, you know, the difference between going out and doing First Amendment stuff, which obviously we all support, it’s part of being American. The minute you harm somebody else, or you harm somebody’s property, or 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.”
Last month, DeSantis touted the anti-riot legislation as a win for Floridians. “If you look at the breadth of this particular piece of legislation, it is the strongest anti-rioting, pro-law enforcement piece of legislation in the country,” he said. “There’s just nothing even close.”
As highlighted by The Daily Wire, speaking of the bonuses for law enforcement, the governor said: “Supporting our law enforcement and first responders has been a top priority for my administration, and it has never been more important than over the last year. As a state, we are grateful for their continued service to our communities. This one-time bonus is a small token of appreciation, but we can never go far enough to express our gratitude for their selflessness.”