Florida Gov. DeSantis signs ‘anti-riot’ bill into law, signals crack down on mob violence

In 2020, countless American cities were rocked by violent riots and destructive looting, and both current events and conventional wisdom indicate the same sort of civil unrest is set to be widespread again this year.

Not so much in Florida, however, after Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) just signed into law an expansive “anti-riot” bill that increases the penalties for those engaged in disruptive mob violence and destruction.

No tolerance for destructive mobs

During a ceremony Monday at the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, DeSantis signed into law HB 1, the “Combatting Public Disorder Act,” which both protects law enforcement and law-abiding citizens while taking an unmistakable stance against rioting, mob violence, and other forms of destructive civil unrest.

“In Florida, we are taking an unapologetic stand for the rule of law and public safety. We are holding those who incite violence in our communities accountable, supporting our law enforcement officers who risk their lives every day to keep us safe and protecting Floridians from the chaos of mob violence,” DeSantis said. “We’re also putting an end to the bullying and intimidation tactics of the radical left by criminalizing doxing and requiring restitution for damaging memorials and monuments by rioters.”

“If you look at the breadth of this particular piece of legislation, it is the strongest anti-rioting, pro-law enforcement piece of legislation in the country,” DeSantis said, according to Fox News. “There’s just nothing even close.”

“We’re not going to end up like Portland”

The governor explained that the new law would prevent local jurisdictions in the state from moving forward with the “insane theory” of defunding police departments and would allow for civil liability lawsuits against local governments that issue “stand down” orders to the police in the face of unrest, violence and destruction.

Fox noted that the law prohibits the mob tactic of blocking roads and provides civil legal immunity to innocent motorists who drive through such disruptive and threatening human blockades. The new law also protects all monuments in the state from being toppled or defaced with increased penalties and created a new crime of “mob intimidation” to punish groups that harass and threaten innocent civilians in public spaces.

Perhaps the most important provision of the law, at least in the view of DeSantis, is the increased penalties and mandatory jail time for committing acts of violence within an unlawful assembly, particularly against law enforcement officials, by specifying that arrested individuals are prohibited from being released on bail until after they have been arraigned by a judge.

“We’re going to hold you accountable and we’re not going to end up like Portland, [Oregon] where this is just a daily occurrence, where these people are doing this — they get arrested, they have their mug shot taken, and then they get put right back on the street to do it again,” DeSantis said.

The left cries foul

The Orlando Sentinel reported that Democrats and civil rights groups in Florida were outraged in opposition to the bill, which they insisted was unconstitutional and an infringement of the First Amendment-protected rights of free speech and freedom of assembly — even though the law specifically allows for and protects lawful assemblies and peaceful protests.

“The problem with this bill is that the language is so overbroad and vague … that it captures anybody who is peacefully protesting at a protest that turns violent through no fault of their own,” Kara Gross, legislative director at ACLU Florida, told the Sentinel. “Those individuals who do not engage in any violent conduct under this bill can be arrested and charged with a third-degree felony and face up to five years in prison and loss of voting rights. The whole point of this is to instill fear in Floridians.”

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28 Responses

    1. Yes we really do!!!!!!!!!! He seems to be the only one standing up for conservatives!!!! Hope more will follow suit!!!!!

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  2. Every state should do the same! I am sick of the mobs and so is everyone I know. If not, America will go completely down the tubes.

  3. Read it dumb a-s Biden you you are a traitor to America i hope you fall over and and never get up. Florida is getting its act together Watch and learn O yea thats right you cant think

  4. More States need to install the voter ID requirement, just like the State of Florida. Governor Ron DeSantis (R) holds my highest regard for doing what is the right thing to do, for all of his citizens in the State of Florida. The Dems do not want the Voter ID in place, so they can steal future elections without any accountability.

  5. It’s encouraging to have a state to put a stop to all the stupidity that has happen in the last two years. Backup or cheer by the far left. Keep it up and I hope more states with common sense and follow up with the same reasoning, we need that.

  6. DeSantis for President and maybe this Country would get back on the track President Trump had us on… Ron has sure taken care of Florida… Great job Governor DeSantis, great job…

  7. We need this law in every state we all are citizen of usa our law protect us from harm everyone should respect the law as long as you respect the law we wouldnt have the damage to our self nor our properties we have worked hard to take care if everyone abide by the law noone would be killed or afraid of being killed .Prayer to GOD above and be safe everyday .

  8. Michael Saunders, U.S. Army S.F. veteran of the Vietnam war and 23 years in law enforcement says:

    Good for the governor of Fla. All the states and commonwealths should do the very same thing that the governor of Fla. did.

  9. Good job Governor De Santis! Every state Governor should follow your lead, take our cities and states back from the leftist thugs who think they can destroy all we have built! They have NO right to riot, burn, loot, destroy our cities!

  10. God bless you gov.DeSantis, you are the only one that has a backbone..you not only say what’s right but you follow thru and do it..the democrats are ruining this great country an no one is doing anything to correct it..whatever the democrats do they get away with it right or wrong..as far as the president he doesn’t know if he’s coming or going…he just does what he is told.. I’d like to see who’s pulling the strings..please get after the other republicans to follow your lead and take back our country..keep up the good work..we are behind you..thank you

  11. This is the way to stop all this mess and to protect the public as well as taking care of our policemen and women so they get to go home to their family’s at the end of the day also. Way to go Florida.

  12. I’m glad I live in Florida & witnessing all the brilliant ideas started
    By de Santis : an honest election,dealing w/ the pandemic,& now this anti-riot bill; Ill vote for him as our next president in a heartbeat;he is the next rising star

  13. You have freedom of speech,not freedom to vandalism or killing and hurting Our Country. You idot baboons!

  14. Love this guy. Glad my governor is brave enough as to stand up to the lefty stupidity. He will be President one day.

  15. I agree with Della, that he will be President one day, after he serves as Trump’s VP, then he will be our next President.
    Good job, Gov. DeSantis, we need you at the White House!!!

  16. Maybe they should all be afraid, very afraid to do anything but have peaceful protests.
    Thank you Ron DeSantis

  17. And for the “peaceful protestors” – in order to avoid being mistaken for a “non peaceful protestor” – as soon as things start going south, GO HOME! Just walk away!!

    I am so happy for the Floridians and hope Texas quickly joins them!!

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