Ron DeSantis Says Minneapolis Dems 'Let People Run Wild' in Streets, Touts Anti-Riot Bill

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said U.S. cities under Democratic Party leadership have failed through both "COVID lockdowns and the rioting," with DeSantis on Monday accusing Minneapolis officials of letting racial protests "run wild."

DeSantis signed the state's H.B. 1 legislation dubbed the "anti-riot" bill Monday, declaring it a proactive step toward ending the so-called "defund the police" movement. Democrats say the controversial Florida law stifles social justice protests which are broadly defined as "mob intimidation," but DeSantis and the state legislature's GOP majority say it's primarily to allow residents to sue local governments who sought to "defund" law enforcement officers.

Speaking with Breitbart News on Monday, DeSantis said his priority is to avoid property damage like that seen in Democratic-controlled areas. The Florida governor claimed police in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, and Minneapolis have been told to "stand down" to allow protests, including demonstrations following the police shooting death of 20-year-old Daunte Wright on April 11.

"We also have to hold local government accountable," DeSantis told the outlet, highlighting Minneapolis as a primary example. On Monday, closing arguments began in the murder trial of former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin, who is facing charges from his role in the May 25, 2020, death of George Floyd.

"If you do like Minneapolis did and tell the cops to stand down and basically let people run wild on the streets, well, then any damage you suffer, your person, your property, you sue the local government, and they have to make you whole because it's their responsibility to protect you in the first place," DeSantis said.

DeSantis' Minneapolis comparison comes as Republicans accuse California Rep. Maxine Waters of "inciting violence" and "openly calling for more confrontation" in the city's suburbs. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Monday Waters should "absolutely not" apologize for her remarks.

"The more blue an area is, the worse it's governed. I mean it's just a disaster what we've seen. It's always been the case kind of in my lifetime, but I think in the last year, it's been exacerbated between COVID lockdowns and the rioting," DeSantis told Breitbart, saying blue county and blue state leaders have "totally dropped the ball."

Touting the "anti-riot" bill he signed into law in Florida Monday, DeSantis again compared how he sees government versus major U.S. cities run by Democratic officials, "We saw last summer, some of the local governments were actually telling—not necessarily in Florida, but throughout the country—basically telling police to stand down while cities burned," DeSantis said. "That's a dereliction of duty."

"We're not just going to turn you back out on the street, and then the penalties overall are stiffer," DeSantis added, calling H.B. 1 a "very comprehensive piece of legislation" and a commitment to law and order.

Newsweek reached out to DeSantis' Florida office as well as government offices for the city of Minneapolis Monday afternoon.

ron desantis florida governor minneapolis
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at the Albert J. Dunlap Athletic Training Facility on the campus of Florida State University on August 11, 2020 in Tallahassee, Florida. DeSantis signed the state's H.B. 1 legislation dubbed the "anti-riot" bill Monday DON JUAN MOORE / Staff/Getty Images