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‘Anti-American anarchy:’ Florida lawmakers react as rioters storm Capitol

Politicians call for peace

The scene in Washington, D.C. turned chaotic Wednesday as rioters demanding a second term for President Donald Trump despite his loss to Joe Biden stormed the Capitol building and entered the House chamber.

Members of Congress were supposed to be meeting to tally the Electoral College but instead an evacuation was ordered and the Capitol was placed on lockdown.

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Pictures and videos on social media show thousands of rioters waiving flags, shouting profanities and acting violent toward Capitol police.

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Police hold off Trump supporters who tried to break through a police barrier, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, at the Capitol in Washington. As Congress prepares to affirm President-elect Joe Biden's victory, thousands of people have gathered to show their support for President Donald Trump and his claims of election fraud. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Trump has asked his unruly supporters to “remain peaceful” and “support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement.” He has since called in the National Guard to quell the uprising and added that those found guilty of vandalizing or damaging federal buildings could be sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Florida lawmakers and other officials also took to Twitter and Facebook to express their thoughts on the situation. Most called the action of the rioters disgraceful and dangerous.

Read some of their comments below, presented in no particular order.

Rep. Val Demings

Gov. Ron DeSantis

“Violence or rioting of any kind is unacceptable and the perpetrators must face the full weight of the law. The Capitol Police do an admirable job and I thank them for their hard work,” DeSantis said in a statement to the media.

Sen. Marco Rubio

Sen. Marco Rubio also voted against the objection to Joe Biden’s win in Arizona.

Rep. Carlos A. Gimenez

Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith

Rep. Anna Eskamani

Rep. Matt Gaetz

Sen. Rick Scott

Rep. Anthony Sabatini

Orlando Police Chief Orlando Rolon

Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood

Florida Sen. Linda Stewart

Florida Sen. Jason Brodeur

Florida Sen. Debbie Mayfield

Rep. Charlie Crist

Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services Nikki Fried

Rep. Stephanie Murphy

Rep. Greg Steube

Rep. Bill Posey

“America has always been first, and foremost, about the rule of law, and that must be respected. I’m disappointed that today’s Congressional proceedings over counting and challenging electoral votes were disrupted by a small number of individuals who breached Capitol security. I’m grateful to our law enforcement for their courage in protecting the Capitol Building, and the public, and urge everyone to respect their authority. I share the frustration of many Americans who do not feel they are being treated fairly, but we can and should do better,” U.S. Rep. Bill Posey said in a statement.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer

“We saw peaceful protests in our community, peaceful demonstrations with people marching around with signs and that I would characterize as protesting or demonstrating. Breaking windows and using physical force to overrun the Capitol of the United States is not peaceful demonstrating or peaceful protesting. They’re a mob, I would go so far as to label them as domestic terrorists. There’s cameras there, there’s a lot of people that should be arrested for what they did today,” Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said during an Orange County coronavirus news briefing Wednesday afternoon. “We’ve been here for the last hour and a half, so I don’t know what’s played out, but as I was arriving [at the news conference], the President was finally at least asking them to leave the Capitol and go home. But he was continuing to press issues that would simply inflame the mob more so I don’t know whether that helped in any way. So I don’t know if they’ve left the Capitol, they’ve been able to clear it. The National Guard was on their way there when we came in here today. But I wouldn’t expect any American to have had the conduct that they had today.”

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings

“I just happen to have been in Washington, D.C. over the weekend and I flew back here on Monday evening. And before I left, I saw the gatherings began there in Washington at the Capitol. And so I know from that point, based upon my training and experience, [emergency management officials in the nation’s capital] should have been proactive. However, I think what perhaps was not expected that complicated the people who were there freely expressing their First Amendment right was the president. The President’s comments today. Even though I was busy today I had the opportunity to, to see and hear some of the comments and the situation that was unfolding. And those of us in leadership roles, we have a moral responsibility, or ethical responsibility, to ensure that the words that we use are words that unite us, not divide us. We have a responsibility to ensure that we do not inadvertently incite public disorder or violence. And I’m disappointed as an American, I’m an American first, I’m a Floridian second, and I’m a lifelong resident of Orange County. I’m just expressing my opinion, regardless of my political affiliation. I was disappointed. like I know many other Americans were in the speech that was given by the President of the United States, arguably the most powerful individual in the free world did not exhibit the attributes of what I expect and I believe most of us expect out of a sitting president to to unite us. We are, indeed, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. And if you believe that, regardless of how you get elected, where you stand, once you get in office, you represent all people, as Orange County mayor. I do not make my decision based upon whether somebody is a D or an R, you won’t ever hear me do that. And so I don’t have that expectation out of any other elected person or leader in our great nation,” Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said during a coronavirus news briefing that took place in Central Florida while the situation was unfolding in the capital.

Orange County Sheriff John Mina

Orange County Superintendent Dr. Barbara Jenkins


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