Gov. Ron DeSantis spoke out against Wednesday's violent assault on the Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump, saying rioting won't be tolerated in Florida.
DeSantis made him remarks Thursday at a park in Bradenton that is being converted into a state-run COVID-19 vaccination site.
Get South Florida local news, weather forecasts and entertainment stories to your inbox. Sign up for NBC South Florida newsletters.
"What you saw yesterday was a good example of taking a rally and having certain views, and then going in to storm the Capitol like was done was totally unacceptable, and I think those folks need to be held accountable," DeSantis said. "It doesn’t matter what banner you are flying under, the violence is wrong, the rioting and disorder is wrong, we are not going to tolerate it in Florida."
DeSantis also spoke about legislation he proposed in September that would impose felony-level penalties on anyone who damages property, causes injury or destroys public property during a protest.
"In September I was the first governor in the country to propose legislation to really deal with some of the disorder and violent assemblies and rioting that we’ve been seeing throughout our country," DeSantis said. “I 100% support peoples' rights to be able to get together and protest and say what’s on their minds. The minute that that crosses over I think there needs to be penalties."
DeSantis said he hopes there will be more support for his legislation.
"You can have strong views, you can be disappointed in the election, you can be disappointed in whatever, but you can't just go in and ransack public places like that," DeSantis said. "So we are going to make sure that the folks who do that in Florida, if they do that, that they are going to face quick penalties."