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DeSantis: 'If you riot, you are going to jail' in Florida

The governor said state legislation he proposed last year to make more severe penalties for people arrested in 'violent, disorderly' assemblies will pass.
Credit: AP
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at a COVID-19 testing site, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, outside Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla. First responders and people over 65 years-old began receiving the COVID-19 vaccine Wednesday during a trial run of the site which will open to seniors at a later date. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

THE VILLAGES, Fla. — "If you riot, you are going to jail," Florida Gov. DeSantis warned Tuesday.

The governor said people who are "disorderly" or "violent" during upcoming protests or demonstrations in Florida would be charged.

During a press conference Tuesday morning, the governor responded to questions asked about last week's deadly riot on the U.S. Capitol and the FBI's reported warnings of potential protests at state capitols across the country. 

The governor said legislation he introduced back in September 2020 regarding more severe penalties for people who are arrested during "violent, disorderly" assemblies "is going to pass" during this year's legislative session. 

"I don't care why you're doing it, you're not doing it here," DeSantis said as a warning about disorderly assemblies.

He said if anything does happen in the state, he will have the proper reinforcements in place to handle potential events. 

And, he said that while he hasn't heard of anything happening in Florida, he acknowledged that it's happening across the country and "we have to understand it."

Still, he said people shouldn't do that in Florida.

"I'm glad some of these people getting arrested from the DC thing, because I think the prosecutions will really make a difference," he said. 

DeSantis said while he believes many people who attended President Trump's speech Wednesday were "just going to do what they normally do," he believes those "who took it to a violent level need to be held accountable" and it's "unacceptable to do that." 

DeSantis also pointed out his legislation was introduced in part to "stand by our law enforcement," and said Capitol police deserve a lot of credit for steering "a huge mob of people away from doing a lot of other people harm."

You can watch the governor's full press conference here:

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