The Florida Senate has passed largely an anti-riot bill that encouraged by GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis, giving law enforcement teeth to deal with rioters who think it is okay to injure police and damage property.
The bill, which is likely to be signed into state law, effectively adds severe criminal penalties for assaulting law enforcement officers while engaging in a riotous manner, which includes defacing monuments and other public property during protests.
According to MSNBC, the bill has been dubbed “controversial” and “racist” by those who continue to defend the nationwide burning, looting and mayhem that followed the 2020 death of George Floyd.
“This legislative session will likely get its own custom box of Cards Against Humanity,” tweeted Democratic state Sen. Jason Pizzo in regards to the bill.
Despite some opposition by primarily left-leaning lawmakers, the final vote in the Senate was 23-17, with one Republican voting with Democrats in opposition.
DeSantis has praised the bill, and believes that it adds protections to those who must clean up the mess when exercising one’s right to peaceably assemble crosses the gray area threshold into a darker, more violent riot.
“This legislation strikes the appropriate balance of safeguarding every Floridian’s constitutional right to peacefully assemble, while ensuring that those who hide behind peaceful protest to cause violence in our communities will be punished,” DeSantis said in a statement. “Further, this legislation ensures that no community in the state engages in defunding of their police.”
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