On Monday, Floridian Governor Ron DeSantis signed an “anti-riot” bill into law, calling it “the strongest anti-rioting, pro-law enforcement piece of legislation in the country.”
The bill intends to crack down on violent protests by enacting harsher penalties for offenders. Known as HB1, the bill seeks to discourage assault, defacing monuments, and vandalism. It also seeks to punish local governments if they interfere with law enforcement.
DeSantis said left-wing ideas of “defund the police” is an “insane theory” that is “not going to be allowed to every carry the day in the state of Florida.”
DeSantis also said, “If you riot, you are going to jail, and you are going to have to spend time in jail. If you assault law enforcement in a violent assembly, you are definitely going to go to jail.”
The ACLU of Florida said, “The bill was purposely designed to embolden the disparate police treatment we have seen over and over again directed towards black and brown people who are exercising their constitutional right to protest.”
The bill also creates a new class of riots called an “aggravated riot.” This occurs when more than 25 people are involved, injury occurs and more than $5,000 in damage is created. Additionally, this classification would be used if rioters use a deadly weapon, threaten force or block highways.