Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., was bashed by MSNBC host Joy Reid on Twitter, for warning potential criminals against looting the evacuated homes of Hurricane Ian survivors in Florida, linking his statements to racist cops and politicians of the segregation era.
Reid made her comments about DeSantis warning looters, leading to calls of being a race baiter who assumes looters must be Black people only.
The tweet by the host of MSNBC’s “The ReidOut” said that DeSantis telling people not to loot and warning they might be shot by gun-carrying Floridians had the same tone as “segregationist Miami Sheriff Walter E. Headley,” who infamously said, “When the looting starts, the shooting starts,” in the 1960s.
Reid’s tweet linked to an NPR article about the quote’s history, in addition to connecting it to vicious segregationists and anti-Black politicians such as Eugene “Bull” Conner. DeSantis’ words show he’s returned to that “form,” Reid said, according to Fox News.
Reid’s inflammatory remarks came on the heels of the Florida governor’s recent press conference about the state of recovery after the devastation wrought by Hurricane Ian. DeSantis mentioned his concerns in the presser about potential looting that could happen in the absence of infrastructure.
“The other thing that we’re concerned about, particularly in those areas that were really hard hit, is you know, we wanna make sure we’re maintaining law and order,” DeSantis continued.
“Don’t even think about looting. Don’t even think about taking advantage of people in this vulnerable situation. And so local law enforcement is involved in monitoring that,” he said.
“You can have people you know bringing boats into some of these islands and trying to ransack people’s homes and I would not wanna chance that if I were you, given that we’re a Second Amendment state. I can tell you, in the state of Florida, you never know what may be lurking behind somebody’s home,” he said.
Florida law enforcement personnel also made remarks at the press conference and issued a similar warning, including Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno, who said he discussed the issue of looting with state Attorney General Ashley Moody (R).
“We are not going to tolerate — and I mean zero tolerance — when we say anyone that thinks they’re going to thrive on the residents of this county or state when we just took a horrific hit, I can guarantee you that is not going to happen,” he said.
“Florida will not tolerate looters taking advantage of (Hurricane Ian) to prey on vulnerable Floridians. They will be arrested, and I have asked state attorneys to seek the longest pretrial detention possible to keep them locked up so they cannot commit new crimes,” Moody noted.