Gov. DeSantis’ first George Floyd remarks: Zero tolerance for rioting, looting
Image via Getty.

Ron DeSantis
The Governor called Floyd's murder "appalling."

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday broke his silence on the death of George Floyd.

“Florida has zero tolerance for violence, rioting and looting,” DeSantis said in a prepared statement. “George Floyd’s murder was appalling, and the Minnesota perpetrators need to be brought to justice, but this cannot be used as a pretext for violence in our Florida communities.”

Protests erupted across the country last week and into the weekend over the death of Floyd, a black man who died after he was pinned at the neck by a white Minneapolis police officer. Many of those protests turned violent, with rioters looting and setting fires.

But the Governor remained quiet even as the sometimes violent protests roiled the country, including parts of Florida.

On Sunday, the Governor’s spokesperson told Florida Politics that the Governor had activated nearly 700 members of the Florida National Guard on Saturday. In Tampa, 100 guardsmen were deployed Sunday afternoon after Mayor Jane Castor requested assistance enforcing the curfew there.

On Monday, DeSantis announced 1,300 Florida Highway Patrol troopers were supporting local law enforcement

“We will continue to do everything necessary to keep residents safe,” he said.

Protests in Miami, Tampa and elsewhere across the state turned to looting and vandalism. In Tampa, 41 people were arrested as about 40 businesses were burglarized and looted, Police Chief Brian Dugan said.

The news release and tweet came after President Donald Trump spoke to Governors on a video teleconference with law enforcement and national security officials Monday, telling the local leaders they “have to get much tougher” amid nationwide protests and criticizing their responses.

“Most of you are weak,” Trump said. “You have to arrest people.”

The President urged the Governors to deploy the National Guard, which he credited for helping calm the situation Sunday night in Minneapolis.

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.


  • NoMoTrump

    June 1, 2020 at 6:36 pm

    “Most of you are weak,” Trump said as he cowered in his bunker tweeting nonsense. “You have to arrest people.”

    Mini-tRump must be in his basement already.

  • Kellie

    June 1, 2020 at 9:32 pm

    A week after Floyd was murdered, and this is all he has to say? Its like he copied and pasted portions of a Trump speech. On the other hand, that’s probably what he did.

    This governor is full of cow manure.

  • Evelyn

    June 1, 2020 at 9:37 pm

    Does this mean he’ll drop his frivolous and unpopular lawsuit seeking to stop felons from voting in honor of George Floyd?

    I guess that’s a dumb question. Desantis has White House aspirations, and he knows his political future is tied to voter suppression and keeping minorities and ex-felons away from voting booths.

  • Frankie M.

    June 1, 2020 at 10:11 pm

    Does that mean there is tolerance for police brutality? Trump knows all about being weak. He probably got beat up in school and now we’re paying the price. Paging Dr. Freud.

  • DisplacedCTYankee

    June 2, 2020 at 7:14 am

    Never forget, DeSantis was the candidate for governor whose TV ads showed him on the floor spelling TRUMP with his children’s blocks and whose infant daughter was wearing a MAGA t-shirt.

  • Ocean Joe

    June 2, 2020 at 3:04 pm

    One of the first things DeSantis did as governor was to pardon the Groveland Four. Rick Scott had eight years and wouldn’t do it. DeSantis made it a priority. This was a step in the right direction. Echoing Mr. Trump is not.

  • Denise R Smith

    June 3, 2020 at 11:43 pm

    I am 100% behind you DeSantis! Please stand tall and stern!

Comments are closed.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Renzo Downey, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Kelly Hayes, Joe Henderson, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Scott Powers, Gray Rohrer, Aimee Sachs, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Andrew Wilson, Wes Wolfe, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Sign up for Sunburn