Gov. DeSantis activates National Guard as nationwide protests reach Florida
Police officers stand in formation against protesters throwing rocks and water bottles during a demonstration next to the city of Miami Police Department. Image via AP.

Miami Police
Guardsmen are active in Tampa while others stand ready across the state.

Gov. Ron DeSantis has activated the Florida National Guard in response to protests that engulfed the nation this weekend.

DeSantis’ spokeswoman, Helen Aguirre Ferré, tweeted Sunday that the Governor activated the guardsmen the day before. Sunday afternoon, 100 guardsmen arrived in Tampa at the request of Mayor Jane Castor. The Governor also activated 350 guardsmen in the Camp Blanding Joint Training Center near Starke and 140 in Miramar to respond across the state if necessary.

“These specially trained units support law enforcement in various ways such as traffic and crowd control, all that is necessary for preserving the peace and public safety,” Ferré said in a statement to Florida Politics, adding that the guardsmen are trained to diminish the threat of violence.

Protests, some turning into riots, have broken out across the country in outcry over the death of George Floyd while in the custody of Minneapolis police last week.

Castor made the request to support critical infrastructure protection and local law enforcement, Ferré said. On Sunday, Castor called for a 7:30 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew in response to Saturday night protests that turned violent.

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The guardsmen arrived in Tampa about 4 p.m. Sunday.

Cities can request National Guard support through their county emergency management, the same process followed for hurricanes. The 490 guardsmen on call in Camp Blanding, a training base for the National Guard, and Miramar are prepared to respond across the state if needed.

The Governors of Minnesota, Kansas, Georgia and other states have called on the National Guard to keep the peace.

In Tallahassee on Saturday, a pickup truck accelerated into protesters, but no one was seriously injured. And in Jacksonville, which leered toward more protests Sunday, peaceful demonstrations turned violent.

The Guard was also on standby in the District of Columbia, where a crowd grew outside the White House and chanted curses at President Donald Trump. Some protesters tried to push through barriers set up by the U.S. Secret Service along Pennsylvania Avenue, and they threw bottles and other objects at officers wearing riot gear, who responded with pepper spray.

On Friday, the officer who held his knee to Floyd’s neck was arrested and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter — but that appeared to provide little balm. Many protesters are demanding the arrests of the three other officers involved.

Renzo Downey

Renzo Downey covers state government for Florida Politics. After graduating from Northwestern University in 2019, Renzo began his reporting career in the Lone Star State, covering state government for the Austin American-Statesman. Shoot Renzo an email at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @RenzoDowney.


13 comments

  • Sonja Fitch

    May 31, 2020 at 6:25 pm

    No one is above the law! A crime is a damn crime even if you “the law”. The punishment for jsocop Mullens the choice was to let him retire. Even after IA found cause!!!

    • Joey

      May 31, 2020 at 7:49 pm

      If Desanttis was as fast with the unemployment money. Useless governor.

  • Frankie M.

    May 31, 2020 at 8:58 pm

    Great more 18 year old kids on the street.

  • Gwen

    May 31, 2020 at 10:47 pm

    So how do you like Democrat Socialism? just like the third world. democrat Governor’s & Mayors philosophy? Police stand down while the city is looted and burned to the ground.

    There is no moderate wing of the Democrat party people. If you vote for Joe Biden, you are voting for Bernie Sanders, or Elizabeth Warren’s far left platform.. Joe will follow the radical left’s agenda or Joe won’t get the support and he is…. of Val Demings, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Valerie Jarrett,. Rashida Talib, Stacy Abrams, Ayanna Pressley, Nancy Pelosi, Sheila Jackson Lee, Tom Perez, Maxine Waters, Al Green, and llhan Omar. This is the core of the socialists leftist wing of the Democrat party in Washington and they are firmly in charge.

    Democrat Platform & Goals:
    (Democrat Taxpayers pay close attention, you’ll pay too)

    *End all deportations of illegal aliens, if you get here, you stay. Bernie’s website calls it a “moratorium” on deportations.
    Democrats Yes.
    Republicans No.

    *Citizenship for 20 to 50 million illegal aliens, DACA & TPS recipients with a cost of billions.
    Democrats Yes.
    Republicans No.

    *Massive tax increases. All Democrat candidates have committed to tax increases of various amounts.
    Democrats Yes tax increases.
    Republicans No tax increases.

    *De-fund & terminate border patrol & ICE.
    Democrats Yes.
    Republicans No.

    *Free Health Care for Illegal aliens, DACA, TPS recipients (taxpayer funded with one estimate at 52 trillion)
    Democrats Yes.
    Republicans No.

    *Ending of all private / employer based health care. “Medicare for all”, Feds run everything.
    Democrats Yes.
    Republicans No.

    *Illegal Aliens eligible for welfare & food stamps. (Elizabeth Warrens plan adopted)
    Democrats Yes.
    Republicans No

    * Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Green new deal.(which would create massive unemployment, 100,000 jobs estimated in the transportation industry alone.)
    Democrats Yes.
    Republicans No.

    *Sanctuary Cities & States.
    Democrats Yes.
    Republicans No.

    * Border Security. (Democrats have fought against Border Security.
    Democrats No..
    Republicans Yes.

    *Free college for all, including illegal aliens (taxpayer funded estimates in the billions. Bernie plan adopted.
    Democrats Yes.
    Republicans No.

    *Decriminalization of illegal entry into our country.
    Democrats Yes.
    Republicans No.

    *Open Borders.
    Democrats Yes.
    Republicans No.

    *Reparations for race’s harmed by Caucasians. Joe committed this to “Reverend” Al Sharpton, support for Sheila Jackson Lee’s racist reparations bill in the House.
    Democrats Yes.
    Republicans No.

    *Drivers licenses for illegal aliens.(already happening in states with Democrat leadership)
    Democrats Yes.
    Republicans No.

    • lumdor

      June 1, 2020 at 1:44 am

      We’re you vaccinate with a ‘phonograph needle?’
      For Pete’s sake, what are you Yapping about?
      Go bloviate on Fox or Breitbart…

      • john elsman

        June 1, 2020 at 12:38 pm

        some people (like you) don’t have the capacity to understand, I feel sorry for you

      • Gwen

        June 1, 2020 at 8:23 pm

        Never heard a speech huh? hearing impaired? in denial? never heard of the green new deal? how about medicare for all? does sanctuary cities ring a bell? free medical for illegal aliens? you’re either completely unconscious or a shameless liar. I wonder if the Democrat party knows that their constituents are either denying the platform they’re so proud of, or don’t even know it? I don’t agree with Joe or Bernie, but at least there man enough to stand up for what they believes.You should take notes.

    • Barbara Strunk

      June 1, 2020 at 11:28 am

      How about a president who actually cares about U.S. citizens? After 6 nights of violent protests and looting where is the LEADER of our nation to speak to us…he’s busy typing foolishness on Twitter…he’s speading rumors and lies…he’s threatening protesters outside the White House with dogs…he’s totally unfit to be a leader of a country!

      • john elsman

        June 1, 2020 at 12:41 pm

        Barbara, I gather you want a tyrant dictator in the White House. Understand the constitution that made your life GREAT in this Country, what you stomp on along with people like you

      • Patty

        June 1, 2020 at 5:59 pm

        You have the only president that ever gave a crap about the american citizens. There is none so blind as those who can not see. And if you want to pay attention to those that are fueling the fire. Look at biden bailing out people committing crimes or better yet Pelosi talking about the presidents harmful remarks while she states “about a MURDER in the streets.if that isn’t harmful speech then I dont know what is.

      • Gwen

        June 1, 2020 at 8:26 pm

        Oh yeah the blame Trump routine. So Democrat Mayors and Governors order Police to stand down and allow the city to be looted and burned to the ground….and its Trumps fault? you’ve worn it out.

        • Liz

          June 2, 2020 at 11:44 am

          Honey, Its not a routine. It’s the God’s Honest Truth. I bet you dont think he disrespected God and the Church yesterday either, huh. He is a disgrace to this country!

  • Paul

    June 1, 2020 at 9:16 am

    Yesterday there was a protest here in Downtown Ocala a mixed bag of young people holding up signs and chanting , about 300 protesters , it was well organized ,I thank the Ocala Police for doing a great job
    And the protesters for having a well organized Demonstration
    One young Man was taken away ,for publicly cursing at the protesters and police ,as the protesters marched away one shirtless young black man cleaned up ant debre that was left behind

Comments are closed.


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