DeSantis signs ‘anti-mob’ law after Floyd protests; could take away right to vote

"I think it's really remarkable if you look at the breadth of this particular piece of legislation," said DeSantis

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The governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, is cracking down on protests.

On Monday, DeSantis signed an anti-riot bill that serves severe punishments to those involved in violent protests, per Business Insider.

The Masters - Round Three
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis looks on during the third round of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 10, 2021 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

The new law, HB 1, provides civil immunity to people who drive into protestors that might be blocking the street. It prevents those accused of rioting from bailing out of jail until after their first court date and assaulting law-enforcement during a riot comes with increased penalties. If convicted under the new law, people could even lose their right to vote, as reported by Miami Herald.

Read More: Protests erupt after police killing of San Francisco man

“I think it’s really remarkable if you look at the breadth of this particular piece of legislation,” said DeSantis before the bill was signed at a news conference. “It is the strongest anti-rioting, pro-law-enforcement piece of legislation in the country. There’s just nothing even close.”

The bill defines a “riot” as a public disturbance of involving more than three people “acting with the common intent to assist each other in violent and disorderly conduct” which causes damage to property or an individual.

Protests are currently happening in Minneapolis, Minnesota after an officer shot another unarmed Black man, Daunte Wright in early April. Simultaneously, the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former police officer who is accused of killing George Floyd is also underway and has sparked protests.

Back at the top of the year when the Capitol was taken over by an angry mob DeSantis spoke out and said while he supports folk’s right to protest there should be consequences when things get out of control.

“I 100% support people’s right to be able to get together and protest and say what’s on their mind,” said DeSantis back in January per ClickOrlando. “The minute that that crosses over. I think there needs to be penalties.”

Read More: National Guard deployed following protests over Daunte Wright shooting

“It was totally unacceptable and those folks need to be held accountable, and it doesn’t matter what banner you’re flying under, the violence is wrong, the rioting and the disorder is wrong,” DeSantis said about the Capitol insurrection.

In a tweet on Monday, DeSantis spoke about finally getting the controversial bill in place.

“Today, surrounded by our state’s law enforcement community, I proudly signed HB 1 into law, which makes clear that rioting and violence have absolutely no place in Florida and provides protections for the brave men and women who keep our communities safe.”

“HB 1 protects Floridians against attempts by local govts to defund law enforcement, provides the means to hold local govt. accountable for failing to protect people & property from rioting, & enacts strong penalties against those engaged in rioting, looting & violent assemblies,” DeSantis wrote in another tweet.

“I want to thank President @WiltonSimpson, Speaker ,@ChrisSprowls,@DannyBurgessFL, @RepJuanFBarquin,@kellistargel, @Daniel_PerezFL, Rep. Cord Byrd and the Florida House and Senate for passing this legislation for the good of our state and for those we serve,” read the tweet.

Florida’s Senate passed the bill with a 23-17 vote.

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