Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis recently signed a new comprehensive anti-riot bill to avoid riots surrounding the Derek Chauvin trial verdict and a repeat of last year’s violent activity. It became law effective immediately. It is now up to the individual states to protect their citizens from the criminal activities being actively promoted by the radical left government. What a time.
The “Combating Public Disorder Act,” House Bill 1, would increase criminal penalties for crimes committed during a violent assembly and protect law enforcement officers and victims affected by these types of acts.
DeSantis called it the “strongest anti-rioting, pro-law enforcement piece of legislation in the country” and that it would put an end to the bullying and intimidation tactics used by the radical left. He discussed how it will strengthen police protections in Florida and prevent future riots.
“In Florida, we are taking an unapologetic stand for the rule of law and public safety. We are holding those who incite violence in our communities accountable, supporting our law enforcement officers who risk their lives every day to keep us safe, and protecting Floridians from the chaos of mob violence,” DeSantis said.
Sen. Danny Burgess, the sponsor of the bill, shares that he felt it was necessary to define what a ‘riot’ was to both protesters and law enforcement and make it clear where that line in the law is drawn. It is a bill that both restores the rules in Florida and puts an end to the Black Lives Matter-inspired violence that was witnessed last year.
The bill would also allow individuals to sue local governments if their property is damaged during a riot and bump several misdemeanors to felonies.
Some Democrats have called the ball an infringement of the First Amendment and that it will be abused by law enforcement to crack down on peaceful protests. ACLU Florida legislative director Kara Gross shared that the language in the bill is so overbroad and vague that it captures anybody who is peacefully protesting at a “protest that turns violent” through no fault of their own.
“Those individuals who do not engage in any violent conduct under this bill can be arrested and charged with a third-degree felony and face up to five years in prison and loss of voting rights. The whole point of this is to instill fear in Floridians,” Gross said.
Gov. DeSantis, however, argues that the bill safeguards every Floridian’s constitutional right to peacefully assemble. It does not stop a person’s ability to protest, assemble, or speak their minds, but ensures that those who hide behind peaceful protests to cause violence in communities will be punished.
Americans have always had the right to peacefully protest and have their voices heard. They just can’t burn down entire city blocks and claim it to be a “peaceful protest for justice.” While that seems like a general fact to most, facts don’t matter to the radical left.