A Florida sheriff on Monday advised new residents of the state who moved south from liberal states against “voting the stupid way you did up north.”
The remarks were made by Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd during a news conference held by Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) at the signing ceremony of a new anti-rioting bill passed by the legislature. Judd, who last September grabbed headlines for giving members of the media a visual aid to help them tell the difference between a peaceful protest and a riot, praised the governor and Senate President Wilton Simpson, House Speaker Chris Sprowls, and other lawmakers for prioritizing the safety of Floridians.
“Florida is a unique place and a special place. It’s where we work, where we live, but it’s also where the world comes to play, to bring their children — and their children have a right to be safe,” the sheriff said.
He contrasted DeSantis’ leadership in Florida with the governments of Seattle, Portland, and Minneapolis, where Black Lives Matter protests have devolved into violent riots that have set those communities aflame.
“That’s no way to treat the community. That’s no way to treat those that put their entire life into building their business,” Judd said.
“We saw folks’ businesses around this nation who literally worked their entire life and had every penny in their life savings involved. We’re going to proactive and we’re going to make sure people are safe,” he continued, holding up a picture of a peaceful protest next to a picture of a riot, as seen in video reported by WTVT-TV.
“Pay attention, we got a new law and we’re going to use it if you make us. We’re going to protect the people.”
The new law, “Combating Public Disorder,” would criminalize “mob intimidation” — such as the practices of protesters accosting people at restaurants — and would increase penalties for rioting, looting, and related violence. The bill would also create legal protections for