Still no word from Gov. DeSantis about the George Floyd unrest

A protester on Sunday, May 31, near the state Capitol in Tallahassee. Credit: Peter T. Reinwald.

Gov. Ron DeSantis has yet to comment publicly about the unrest that’s broken out across Florida and the rest of the country over the police-brutality death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Helen Aguirre Ferré, the Republican governor’s communications director, announced via a tweet Sunday that DeSantis had mobilized the Florida National Guard the day before, sending 150 guardsmen to Miramar, 150 to Camp Blanding, and 100 to Tampa.

Camp Blanding, near Starke, is home to the Guard’s Joint Training Center.

However, the governor’s office had issued no statement on his behalf as of midday Monday. His last public utterance was on Saturday via a tweet and a Facebook posting commemorating the launch of the SpaceX rocket launch from Cape Canaveral.

His office hadn’t posted DeSantis’ daily schedule yet, either, although that rarely appears before the close of the business being disclosed.

Nikki Fried, Florida’s Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and the only Democrat elected statewide, posted a tweet decrying police violence against African Americans and protesters.

“Tear gas. Driving over protestors. Firing on crowds. That these are happening is not only a sign that things are wrong, but also that things were never right. It’s systemic inequality & injustice that fueled the deaths of #GeorgeFloyd, #TonyMcDade, #BreonnaTaylor & many others,” she wrote.

State Attorney General Ashley Moody, a Republican, last commented regarding the matter on Friday, retweeting a statement in which the Florida Sheriffs Association supported the arrest of Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin, who kneeled on Floyd’s neck as he struggled for breath, and criticized three officers who failed to intercede.

“The Minneapolis police officer used deadly force in a situation where there was no justification,” the association said. “The other officers present should have intervened to stop the officer who had his knee on George Floyd’s neck. These officers’ actions are not representative of sheriff’s deputies in Florida or the law enforcement profession, and the actions are inconsistent with law enforcement policies and training.”

Moody herself tweeted: “Florida law enforcement stands united in condemning the actions that led to the death of George Floyd. What happened to Floyd was preventable, unacceptable, and as we saw this afternoon with charges filed, criminal.”

Jimmy Patronis, Florida’s chief financial officer and also a Republican, has not addressed the unrest in his own social media accounts.