In response to Black Lives Matter protests, Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis has passed an “anti-riot” bill.
According to NBC News, as early as next week, DeSantis is expected to sign an anti-riot bill into law. This move comes after the Florida Senate passed the bill, which DeSantis reportedly completely supported.
If the bill is placed into law, it will raise the criminal penalties for assaulting law enforcement officials while acting in a “riot.” Rioting would include activities like defacing monuments and other public property during riots. Local governments could also get in trouble if they were to involve themselves with law enforcement efforts that are trying to manage riots. In addition, it would penalize local governments if they tried to create a citizen’s appeal process if cities and counties tried to reduce police budgets following a riot, NBC News reports.
GOP-controlled House passed the bill last month, and the Senate moved forward with the bill in a 23-17 vote. One Republican voted against the bill, along with Democrats. Republicans and Democrats have two totally different feelings about the bill. Republicans believe the bill will protect the police force and keep the government in control of riots, while Democrats say it is infringing on First Amendment rights.
DeSantis said he “looks forward” to signing the bill into law. “This legislation strikes the appropriate balance of safeguarding every Floridian’s constitutional right to peacefully assemble, while ensuring that those who hide behind peaceful protest to cause violence in our communities will be punished,” DeSantis said in a statement. “Further, this legislation ensures that no community in the state engages in defunding of their police.”