Governor DeSantis Breaks Silence After Days Of Protests Erupt In Florida

The state has a "zero-tolerance for violence" stance.
Protests In Florida Continue In The State After Governor DeSantis Breaks Silence

Governor Ron DeSantis has broken his silence after days of protests in Florida. DeSantis called the video of George Floyd "appalling" but voiced a zero-tolerance policy for protests that turned violent. The statement follows a weekend of protests around the country in response to the death of Floyd and the Minneapolis Police Department.

"Florida has zero tolerance for violence, rioting, & looting," Gov. DeSantis said in a written statement on Twitter. "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."

The statement comes after a weekend in which thousands of Floridians poured into the streets to protest against police violence against the African American community. While violence broke out at some protests, the scenes in the state have been nowhere near as devastating as in other major U.S. cities.

DeSantis activated the Florida National Guard on Monday. They will be stationed in Miami, Tampa, and Jacksonville to monitor the demonstrations, according to WSVN.

As of Tuesday, the Miami Herald reported no arrests occurring in Miami on the third day of marches. Other protests have taken place in Broward County, West Palm Beach, and Boca Raton. 

Local counties have stepped in to enact curfews. Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez has imposed a 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew every night until further notice. In Broward, the same curfew will run until Sunday, June 7.

Not all cities are taking the same approach. Jacksonville previously had a curfew, but Mayor Lenny Curry announced that it is no longer needed.

Businesses have also taken precautions as malls across South Florida have closed early or shuttered altogether to prevent their properties from being looted. Still, protesters have largely stepped in to stop the protests from being marred by violence. 

On Sunday night, protesters stopped individuals attempting to break into a downtown Miami CVS store by forming a protective ring around it.  

In response to the protests, Mayor Gimenez postponed the reopening of Miami-Dade beaches, which were set to welcome beachgoers on Monday. 

In Tampa, a $500 to $1,000 fine and possible jail time were in place for those who violated the 7:30 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew.

Miami-Dade Police confirmed that, in total, protests over the weekend resulted in 57 arrests. It was reported that only 13 of those arrested were from Florida. Jorge Colina, the City of Miami Chief of Police, said in response to those numbers on Monday, for individuals not to "bring hate and anger here.”

The Miami-Dade County Association of Chiefs of Police would later clarify on Twitter that seven of those detained were from out of state, compared to 36 who were from Miami-Dade County.

Demonstrations have broken out all over the country to protest the death of George Floyd, who died on May 25 after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on Floyd’s neck. 

Chauvin has since been arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter*This article has been updated.