Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) on Tuesday announced 24 hours of “largely peaceful” demonstrations in Florida and “no significant law enforcement or civilian injuries or deaths” following his decision to deploy the state’s National Guard to help maintain peace and restore law and order.
DeSantis reported “no significant civilian or law enforcement injuries and no widespread property damage” as part of a greater statement, thanking local officials, the Florida National Guard, and the Florida Highway Patrol for all of their work in calming civil unrest.
“Additionally, FDLE has not received reports of widespread property damage, commercial or residential,” DeSantis’s press release read:
Thanks to the collaborative efforts of local officials, law enforcement, @FLGuard, and Florida Highway Patrol @FLHSMV, over the past 24 hours @fdlepio reports no significant civilian or law enforcement injuries and no widespread property damage. My full statement ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/40bZPIvH52
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) June 2, 2020
He said in part:
I appreciate all the hard work being done by our local officials, the Florida National Guard, the Florida Highway Patrol and our law enforcement to help ensure the safety of residents and visitors, as well as those who are engaging in peaceful First Amendment activity.
“Over the past 24 hours, demonstrations have remained largely peaceful thanks to these collaborative efforts,” DeSantis continued. “We will remain vigilant and stand ready in the event something changes.”
“Florida will not tolerate rioting, looting, or violence. We encourage all residents and visitors to continue abiding by local curfews and directives and thank everyone for their cooperation,” he concluded.
The Florida governor and Trump ally activated the state’s National Guard over the weekend as violent protests erupted in the Tampa Bay area, resulting in the destruction of property and burglary of dozens of businesses:
Yesterday, @GovDeSantis activated the @FLGuard. Currently there are 150 guardsmen in Miramar,150 in Camp Blanding & 100 arrived in Tampa.These specially trained units support law enforcement in many ways i.e. traffic & crowd control, all to preserve the peace & public safety.
— Helen Aguirre Ferré (@helenaguirrefer) May 31, 2020
DeSantis on Monday also announced the “mobilization of 700 Florida National Guard soldiers who are specially trained to support law enforcement.”
“I have also worked with FHP to coordinate more than 1,300 sworn Florida Highway Patrol troopers to support local law enforcement efforts. We will continue to do everything necessary to keep residents safe,” he announced:
Florida has zero tolerance for violence, rioting & looting. George Floyd’s murder was appalling & the MN perpetrators need to be brought to justice, but this cannot be used as a pretext for violence in our communities.
I thank local leaders for their efforts to keep FL safe. pic.twitter.com/tQmFoKgFT2
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) June 1, 2020
DeSantis is largely following the call of the president, who on Monday urged state leaders to deploy the National Guard “in sufficient numbers.”
“Mayors and governors must establish an overwhelming law enforcement presence until the violence has been quelled,” Trump stated.
A recent Morning Consult poll found that 71 percent of American voters — including a majority of Democrats — support activating the National Guard to address the “protests and demonstrations,” as Breitbart News detailed.