‘We are a law and order state:’ DeSantis wants Florida to get tougher on crime

MIAMI – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis spoke at the Miami Police Benevolent Association on Thursday, focusing on preserving law and order in Florida.

The governor said he wants Florida to get even tougher on crime — from reforming the state’s death penalty laws, to introducing heavier penalties for child sex offenders, to cracking down on the sale of fentanyl.

DeSantis said that defunding law enforcement would “not happen on his watch.”

He was joined by Attorney General Ashley Moody who also agreed that defunding the police “will not happen here in Florida.”

The pair announced that new initiates to combat the distribution of fentanyl, such as making the production of colored tablets, is a first-degree felony.

“They will jam fentanyl into anything these days,” said DeSantis. “They will actually do it, and make it look like candy.”

DeSantis said he is also taking strong stand against eliminating cash bail, which makes it easier for defendants to post bail and wait for their trial.

“Just cycling people back on to the street if they commit these crimes--that is not helping these communities,” he said.

The governor also addressed capital punishment, promising to reform the law that allows one juror to prevent the implementation of the death penalty similar to what happened in the trial of the Parkland shooter.

DeSantis also said he is also pushing to expand the death penalty for sex crimes against children.

We are going to be exploring ways to facilitate some capital trials if you have the worst of the worst,” said DeSantis.

The press conference happened only a few days after Florida joined several other states in suing to stop a new immigration sponsorship program.

“They’re not following the law, that’s what bothers me,” said DeSantis. “Parole is not a license to nullify the law. What they’re doing is applying rules that are in direct conflict with the law.”

Watch the full press conference in the video below:

About the Authors:

Cody Weddle joined Local 10 News as a full-time reporter in South Florida in August of 2022. Before that, Cody worked regularly with Local 10 since January of 2017 as a foreign correspondent in Venezuela and Colombia.

Ryan Mackey is our newest digital journalist at WPLG. He is New York born and South Florida raised.