Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced on Monday new legislation he wants to see implemented in the Sunshine state that brings tougher penalties on rioters, looters, and people who attack law enforcement, along with punishing localities who want to defund police departments.
"We will always stand with our men and women in uniform who keep our communities safe," DeSantis tweeted when he made the announcement.
Today I announced bold legislation that creates new criminal offenses and increases penalties for those who target law enforcement and participate in violent or disorderly assemblies. We will always stand with our men and women in uniform who keep our communities safe. pic.twitter.com/ITl5GmmrZJ— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) September 21, 2020
The new proposals include new criminal offenses, such as:
- Prohibition on violent or disorderly assemblies: 3rd-degree felony when 7 or more persons are involved in an assembly and cause damage to property or injury to other persons.
- Prohibition on obstructing roadways: 3rd-degree felony to obstruct traffic during an unpermitted protest, demonstration or violent or disorderly; diver is NOT liable for injury or death if fleeing for safety from a mob.
- Prohibition on destroying or toppling monuments: 2nd-degree felony to destroy public property during a violent riot or disorderly assembly.
- Prohibition on harassment in public accommodations: 1st-degree misdemeanor for a participant in a violent or disorderly assembly to harass or intimidate a person at a public accommodation, such as a restaurant.
- RICO liability: RICO liability attaches to anyone who organizes or funds a violent or disorderly assembly.
- Striking a law enforcement officer (including with a projectile) during a violent riot or disorderly assembly = 6 months mandatory minimum jail sentence.
- State grants and aid are prohibited to any local government that slashes funding to law enforcement.
The proposals are in response to the tactics seen being used across the country at Black Lives Matter protests and riots. The protests are no longer concentrating in the downtown areas of cities and are beginning to move out into the residential areas to pressure people to join in on the cause.