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Protesters face off with police as they shut down southbound Interstate 35 freeway in Austin Texas, Saturday, May 30, 2020. Demonstrators were protesting the death of George Floyd, a black man who was killed in police custody in Minneapolis on May 25. Image via AP.

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State DHSMV terminates two employees for racist, threatening remarks at protesters

The department took swift and immediate action.

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles terminated two employees Tuesday who reportedly made racist and threatening remarks directed at protesters.

“This conduct is not in any way reflective of the Troopers and employees of the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles,” the department said in a statement. “The men and women of this department have been entrusted to serve and protect all residents and visitors of Florida, and this abhorrent and reprehensible conduct will not be tolerated.”

Few details about the employees and their remarks were provided by FDHSMV upon the announcement.

The announcement did, however, add that the one incident occurred on social media and the other was delivered through text message.

“As soon as the department was made aware of these statements, swift and immediate action was taken to terminate their employment,” the department said.

The announcement comes as protests and riots are taking place across the country in the wake of the death of George Floyd, a Minneapolis man who was killed month when a police officer knelt on his neck while in custody.

While riots, protests and looting continue to ravage many American cities in the aftermath of Floyd’s death, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Tuesday that demonstrations in Florida have remained peaceful over the last 24 hours.

“Over the past 24 hours, demonstrations have remained largely peaceful thanks to these collaborative efforts,” he said. “We will remain vigilant and stand ready in the event something changes.”

DeSantis suggested that the peacefulness comes on the heels of his mobilization of the National Guard and Florida Highway Patrol.

“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,” DeSantis said.

Written By

Jason Delgado covers news out of the state capitol for Florida Politics. After his time with the U.S. Army, Jason attended the University of Central Florida where he studies Political Science & American Policy. His past bylines include WMFE-NPR and POLITICO Florida. You can reach Jason at jason@floridapolitics.com or on Twitter at @JasonDelgadoFL.

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