On Monday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed an “anti-riot bill” after it passed the state Senate last week, legislation that enhances penalties for crimes committed during a riot.

The bill, according to WFLA, includes several measures introduced by DeSantis last summer as race protests and violent attacks on federal and police buildings made headlines.

The Florida bill features many changes to the state’s criminal and administrative law.

  • Making it difficult for cities and counties to reduce funding for the police.
  • Allows governments to be sued if they fail to stop a riot.
  • Grants civil legal immunity to people who drive through protesters blocking a road.
  • Creates a new “aggravated riot” second-degree felony charge for crimes stemming from riots of over 25 people.
  • Doesn’t allow rioters to bail out of prison prior to their first court case.

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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Signs Anti-Riot Bill

DeSantis signed the Florida anti-riot bill on Monday.

“If you look at the breadth of this particular piece of legislation, it is the strongest anti-rioting, pro-law enforcement piece of legislation in the country,” he bragged.

At a press conference last week, DeSantis explained the purpose behind the law in simple terms.

“If you riot, you are going to jail, and you are going to have to spend time in jail,” he said.

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“If you assault law enforcement in a violent assembly, you are definitely going to go to jail. You burn down somebody’s business … The penalties are going to be very swift and immediate.”

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Democrats Object To The Bill

Florida Democrats objected to certain aspects of the bill, many of which should come as no surprise.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, Democrats took the most umbrage with the aforementioned immunity for drivers moving through protests, the prevention of bail until court, and “impose(ing) a six-month mandatory sentence for battery on a police officer during a riot.”

Democrat opposition to stiffer penalties for battery on a police officer seems to be a systemic issue for the party at both the state and federal levels.

Rep. Maxine Waters, for example, encouraged potential rioters in Minneapolis to “get more confrontational” and “stay in the street” if there is a not-guilty verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial.

DeSantis, after signing the ‘anti-riot’ bill, warned that people calling for Chauvin to be found guilty, like Waters, might be disappointed when a decision is rendered.

But he said his state is now prepared for any potential riots.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen,” he said. “But I can tell you that case was bungled by the attorney general there in Minnesota. They didn’t handle it properly. And so there may be people disappointed.”

The bill also addresses those rioters seeking to tear down statues and monuments.

“This bill protects all monuments in Florida,” DeSantis announced. “You have no right to go in and take down monuments, we’re not going to let the mob win the day with that.”


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