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Ron DeSantis gives state employees an couple of extra days off for the holidays. Image via Colin Hackley.

America in Crisis

‘Florida means business’: Gov. Ron DeSantis doubles down against protesters

The warning comes after federal authorities learned that armed protests are planned at all 50 state capitols.

Gov. Ron DeSantis fired a verbal warning shot at potential rioters on Tuesday, sending out a broad advisory that Florida will not tolerate violence and unlawful assembly like seen at the U.S. Capitol.

“If anything is disorderly, we’re going to act very quickly,” DeSantis told reporters at The Villages. “Don’t worry about that.”

The Governor’s warning comes after federal authorities became privy to intelligence indicating that armed protests are planned at all 50 state capitols and the U.S. Capitol in Washington ahead of President-elect Joe Biden‘s Jan. 20 inauguration.

DeSantis stopped short of adding more details about the FBI memo. On Monday, however, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement issued a statement acknowledging threats to capitols nationwide.

“We are aware of the information regarding possible protests and violence at state capitols,” the state police agency said. “FDLE and Capitol Police continue to monitor the national situation and analyze information relevant to public safety.  We regularly collaborate with our federal, state and local partners to discuss and implement security measures that enhance public safety at Florida’s Capitol.”

DeSantis lamented the U.S. Capitol assault and described it as a “real unfortunate thing.” He also credited the U.S. Capitol Police officers on the ground that day before advocating for his anti-rioting proposals.

The measures, SB 484 and HB 1, will be heard in the upcoming 2021 Legislative Session.

“Our legislation is going to pass this Legislative Session, so if you riot, you are going to jail and you’re going to have to spend time in jail,” the GOP Governor and Trump ally said. “You assault law enforcement in a violent assembly, you’re going to definitely go to jail. You burn down someone’s business, you do all this, the penalties are going to be swift and immediate.”

“I think once people see that, well I think they already know Florida means business,” DeSantis continued.

Meanwhile, Florida Senators on Monday received a closed-door security briefing, a customary event that has taken on increased importance amid physical security concerns at state capitols nationwide.

The Florida Senate’s security briefing is a routine meeting held every two years. While the briefing and security details are closed to the public and press, some lawmakers are openly voicing concerns about possible threats to their physical safety.

Written By

Jason Delgado covers news out of the state capital for Florida Politics. After a stint with the U.S. Army, Jason attended the University of Central Florida where he studied American Policy and National Security. His past bylines include WMFE-NPR and POLITICO Florida. Throw him a line at jason@floridapolitics.com or on Twitter at @JasonDelgadoFL.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Sonja Fitch

    January 12, 2021 at 2:58 pm

    Lol. The contest of SEE ME. Is getting good! Duffus Desantis, little Marco are neck in neck in last place! Sir Duffus Desantis you are a loser!

  2. Booner

    January 13, 2021 at 3:31 pm

    Sanctimonious twit! Skull and Bones toady of his keeper in Washington DC.

    The 2nd worst governor in Florida history, after Rick Scott.

    No protesters will go to Tallahassee, just watch. They know Desantis is on Trump’s Team, in fact the governor will be on hand to unlock the doors and serve Big Macs to his comrades in ideology, in case any nutjobs show up.

    So let him pretend to act like he cares about the US Constitution. What malarkey. No one is fooled by this Machiavellian governor with his constant lies and halo-signaling. A dumbbell, a dope, and a First Class Jerk.

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