Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) is eager to intensify his crackdown on anarchist rioters and jurisdictions that enable their illegal behavior in the Sunshine State.
Besides creating new felonies to deal with violent protesters, DeSantis is also keen on establishing new, harsh penalties for cities that decide to defund or abolish their police departments.
The Daily Wire’s Emily Zanotti reports:
Local Miami news reports that “violent protesters and looters would face new felonies” under the legislation, particularly if they damage property as part of their demonstrations, engage in “disorderly” conduct,” or assault a law enforcement officer.
If caught and convicted, violent protesters could lose their access to state-based welfare programs, DeSantis said.
“DeSantis told reporters during a news briefing at the Polk County Sheriff’s Office the bill would charge protesters with felonies for damaging property and inflicting injuries, as well as sentence them to mandatory jail time for hitting a law enforcement officer,” POLITICO noted Monday. “The bill, which state lawmakers will consider during next year’s legislative session, would also bar protesters who commit crimes from receiving state benefits or working for the state.”
Florida, unlike Washington, Oregon, New York, and Illinois, has not seen overtly violent anti-police and anti-racism protests, though individual protests in places like Tallahassee and Miami have occasionally devolved into violence, per local media. In Miami, Black Lives Matter protesters have pressed for the police to stop using non-lethal methods to control protests that get out of hand.
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