Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on Monday unveiled astonishing new legislation to punish violent rioters, add RICO liability to those funding their operations, allow victims of rioters to sue local government officials who left them defenseless against the mob in dereliction of their duties and more.
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
From FOX 13:
Florida’s governor, surrounded by sheriffs, police chiefs and state legislative leaders, announced a new bill that will increase penalties against protesters involved in looting and violence. The proposal will also cut state funding to cities that “defund the police.”
The bill will be introduced in the next legislative session, and will push felony charges against violent protesters, including against those who block roadways.
“I look at what goes on in Portland. They’ll have people, they’ll arrest them,” Governor Ron DeSantis said during Monday’s press conference. “They’re all scraggly-looking ANTIFA-types. They get their mugshot taken, then they get released. It’s like a carousel; on and on it goes.”
“That’s not going to happen in here in Florida,” he added.
DeSantis is giving Floridians a reason to vote Republican. Their next legislative session starts next year and DeSantis said every official running right now should be made to go on record stating whether they support the bill.
A provision in the bill would go after local governments who appear to be focusing on cuts to police departments, and in turn will cut state funding to those municipalities. However, DeSantis said if it appears to be a normal budget cut, then the local government won’t lose state funding.
Blocking streets, or obstructing traffic during an unpermitted protest would become a third-degree felony under the bill. Drivers would not be liable for injury or death if they are fleeing for safety, the governor explained.
If the proposal passes, those convicted of participating in a violent of disorderly assembly will be ineligible for state benefits. The individual will also not be eligible for state or local government employment.
Here’s the bulletpoints from the “Combatting Violence, Disorder and Looting and Law Enforcement Protection Act” summary above:
New Criminal Offenses to Combat Rioting, Looting and Violence
A. 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.
B. Prohibition on Obstructing Roadways: 3rd degree felony to obstruct traffic during an unpermitted protest, demonstration or violent or disorderly assembly; driver is NOT liable for injury or death caused if fleeing for safety from a mob.
C. Prohibition on Destroying or Toppling Monuments: 2nd degree felony to destroy public property during a violent or disorderly assembly.
D. 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.
E. RICO Liability: RICO liability attaches to anyone who organizes or funds a violent or disorderly assembly.
A. Mandatory Minimum Jail Sentence: Striking a law enforcement officer (including with a projectile) during a violent or disorderly assembly = 6 months mandatory minimum jail sentence.
B. Offense Enhancements: Offense and/or sentence enhancements for: (1) throwing an object during a violent or disorderly assembly that strikes a civilian or law enforcement officer; (2) assault/battery of a law enforcement officer during a violent or disorderly assembly; and (3) participation in a violent or disorderly assembly by an individual from another state.
Citizen and Taxpayer Protection Measures
A. No “Defund the Police” Permitted: Prohibits state grants or aid to any local government that slashes the budget for law enforcement services.
B. Victim Compensation: Waives sovereign immunity to allow a victim of a crime related to a violent or disorderly assembly to sue local government for damages where the local government is grossly negligent in protecting persons and property.
C. Government Employment/Benefits: Terminates state benefits and makes anyone ineligible for employment by state/local government if convicted of participating in a violent or disorderly assembly.
D. Bail: No bond or bail until first appearance in court if charged with a crime related to participating in a violent or disorderly assembly; rebuttable presumption against bond or bail after first appearance.
DeSantis gave a press conference on the proposed legislation:
This is an incredible piece of legislation which should be adopted throughout the entire country.
Removing sovereign immunity from officials who allow the riots to occur is perhaps the most important of all.
When the government allows riotous mobs to operate unimpeded and prevents police from doing their jobs all the violence the mob commits lays squarely at the feet of the officials who created the situation of lawlessness — and yet they’re never held accountable.
On top of that, as we just saw with Jake Gardner, government officials are going a step further and criminally charging those who defend themselves from the mob when they and their property are attacked.
All these riots in Democrat-controlled cities are effectively state-sanctioned violence and the criminal officials allowing them to occur need to be held personally responsible and thrown in prison.
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