Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis Activates National Guard in Response to Violent Protests

Protestors wave a US flag with the word Justice painted on it as they gather at Fort Lauderdale Police Department during a rally in response to the recent death of George Floyd in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on May 31, 2020. - Thousands of National Guard troops patrolled major US cities …
EVA MARIE UZCATEGUI/AFP via Getty Images

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has activated the National Guard in the Sunshine State following violent protests rocking the Tampa Bay area on Saturday night, as rioters torched, vandalized, and looted businesses and damaged police vehicles.

“Yesterday, @GovDeSantis activated the @FLGuard,” DeSantis’ communications director, Helen Aguirre, announced on Sunday.

“Currently there are 150 guardsmen in Miramar,150 in Camp Blanding & 100 arrived in Tampa,” she continued. “These specially trained units support law enforcement in many ways i.e. traffic & crowd control, all to preserve the peace & public safety”:

Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan said on Saturday that dozens of businesses, “at least 40” per FOX 13, were burglarized as a result of the out-of-control protests. Over two dozen police vehicles were vandalized, and authorities made 41 arrests.

FOX 13 reported:

Tampa police said they arrested 41 adults and juveniles throughout the night. Some of the juveniles arrested were wearing ankle bracelets. Chief Dugan said there would be a different tone on Sunday. He encouraged anyone who wants to protest peacefully to stay at home.

Hillsborough County deputies arrested an additional seven people for burglary, grand theft, battery on law enforcement officer, carrying a concealed firearm and petit theft.

Two deputies responding to the protests were injured. Both suffered minor injuries and have since been released from the hospital. 15 HCSO vehicles were also damaged during yesterday’s protests.

Violent protests have erupted elsewhere in the Sunshine State, from Miami to Jacksonville, where rioters slashed a deputy’s neck.

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry has since imposed an 8 p.m. curfew in the area, citing an abundance of criminal activity.

“Sheriff Williams and I did not wish to implement such a policy but we simply will not tolerate criminals who threaten men and women in law enforcement and the private property of law abiding citizens,” Curry announced:

The City of Tampa has also imposed a curfew, which goes into effect 7:30 p.m. ET:

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