It’s hard to erase the image of MSNBC’s Ali Velshi telling viewers that the Minneapolis riots were “not generally speaking unruly” as an out-of-control fire raged in the background.
Since the May 25 death of George Floyd, many on the left have been unwilling to acknowledge the violence that has swept the country. They’ve provided cover for the rioters, and in some cases, they’ve even cheered on the looters.
On Monday, Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis held a news conference in Winter Haven to announce a new bill entitled the “Combating Violence, Disorder and Looting and Law Enforcement Protection Act.”
The legislation is intended to defund cities that defund police and to establish what DeSantis referred to as “clear and predictable penalties” for those who participate in violent assemblies.
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd addressed reporters gathered at the event to deliver a message of his own. Lest there be no confusion, the no-nonsense sheriff used visual aids to educate reporters on the difference between riots and protests.
Judd began by praising DeSantis’ efforts to crack down on lawlessness.
“And in this state, there’s a 49-year low crime rate. That doesn’t just happen,” he told reporters. “It doesn’t happen when you listen to a handful of people who think we ought to let criminals out of jail.
“I can tell you folks, so that there’s no misunderstanding today, this is a peaceful protest,” Judd added, placing a photograph of what appeared to be a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest on the podium.
Placing the second photo, which showed a raging fire, next to the first one, he explained: “This is a riot. We can tell the difference. The governor can tell the difference. Our law enforcement officers can tell the difference.”
Presenting reporters with two new photos — one of a peaceful protest, and one of a person with his hands full of apparently looted goods — the sheriff continued: “In the event you didn’t get that, let me show you something. This is a peaceful protest. This is looting.