Former Gov. calls for an independent commission to investigate why so many people from Florida attended the Capitol riot

Rep. Charlie Crist

Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL), candidate for Governor of Florida, participates in a Voting Rights Tour event held at the Lallos Restaurant in Lauderhill, Florida, on June 10, 2021. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

  • Rep. Charlie Crist of Florida called for an investigation into the state’s role in the Capitol riot.

  • The former governor said Friday he was worried about how many Floridians were involved in the attack.

  • Florida is one of the two states with the most residents facing charges related to the insurrection.

  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Rep. Charlie Crist has called on Florida Gov. Ron De Santis to launch an independent commission into the state’s ties to the Capitol insurrection, local media reported.

Crist, who served as Florida’s governor from 2007 to 2011, told reporters on Friday he’s concerned by the number of Floridians who were arrested in relation to the January 6 attack, which resulted in the deaths of five people.

“I’m calling on Gov. Ron DeSantis to protect our democracy by ordering a non-partisan investigation of Florida’s outsized role in the Capitol Insurrection,” Crist tweeted. “Hate and insurrection can have no home here. DeSantis must act to keep us safe.”

Read more: Matt Gaetz’s former staffers are scrubbing their resumes of all links to the congressman

He also told reporters on Friday the investigation would be essential in “protecting our communities from extremists,” according to Tampa Bay Times.

“The unprecedented attack on our nation’s capitol on January the 6th was an assault on our very democracy,” he added.

Crist’s comments come after reports that of the 484 people that have so far been arrested in connection to the insurrection, 47 hail from Florida. That’s the most of any state, tied with Texas.

Florida also leads all states in arrests of individuals associated with the far-right groups’ Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers, who were both active in breaching the Capitol.

More than 40% of the Oath Keepers arrested on charges stemming from the insurrection are from the Sunshine State and about a quarter of the Proud Boys.

Cris, who is now in his third term representing Florida’s 13th Congressional District, told reporters that although most Floridians are “kind, decent people … this is one national list that I’m ashamed Florida is leading,” Tampa Bay Times reported.

DeSantis’s office did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

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