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Gov. Ron DeSantis activates Florida National Guard after violent protests

Police hold line as tear gas canister thrown back at them, May 30
Posted at 6:05 PM, May 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-31 18:49:14-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Gov. Ron DeSantis has activated the Florida National Guard after protests throughout the state turned violent Saturday night.

Helen Aguirre Ferre, a spokeswoman for the governor, said DeSantis has deployed 150 guardsmen to their facility in Miramar, 150 to Camp Blanding near Jacksonville and 100 to Tampa.

"These specially trained units support law enforcement in many ways," she said Sunday on Twitter.

Police used tear gas to try to fend off protesters outside the Miami Police Department. What began as a peaceful protest quickly escalated, resulting in several vehicles being set on fire, including at least two police cars, and leading to looting at nearby Bayside Marketplace.

Several stores were looted and a gas station was set on fire in Tampa.

A pickup truck also drove through a group of protesters in Tallahassee, although no injuries were reported. The driver was taken into custody.

The protests are in response to the death of George Floyd.