- THE BLAZE - MAY 10, 2021 - SARAH TAYLOR -
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) says that anyone who would harm a person, their property, or police officers needs to stay out of the state — or face "swift" and "severe" consequences.
DeSantis warned that if rioters begin demonstrating in Florida — as they do in various places in Oregon — they will be met with severe consequences.
During last week's press conference revealing that the state would apportion $1,000 bonuses to first responders, the Republican governor vowed to protect police officers and residents from rioting, vandalism, and violence.
"I think if you look around the country, what happens is, like in Portland, these people riot every night," he said. "They go, they get their mug shot, and then they get put right back on the street to do it again. That's what we don't want."
He added, "The minute you harm somebody else or you harm somebody's property, you do those types of things, the only way we're going to put a stop to it is to have very swift penalties for it."
Pointing to areas such as Portland, Oregon, DeSantis added that crime is spiking in areas across America due to a lack of support for police.
"There's a lot of places around this country that have not stood by law enforcement, and the tragedy of it is, you're seeing crime spike in certain parts of our country like we haven't seen in decades," he explained. "The people that are going to be most affected by that are the most vulnerable members of our society."
He also added that he is issuing the statewide bonuses because it is imperative for law enforcement and first responders to function and serve the country as they always have.
"One of the reasons we are here today with the bonuses is because we know just how important that is. It tells people, 'Hey, if you are in Portland and you think you can come down to Florida and do this, stay out of our state!' We don't want you coming down here and causing problems," DeSantis insisted. "If anyone does cause these problems, if you try to burn something down, try harm anybody, but particularly a police officer during one these violent assemblies, there will be consequences. They will be swift and they will be severe. They will be such that people who see that happening will know that's not something that we want to do going forward."
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