Republicans in dozens of states introduce new anti-rioting measures

Following a year marked by widespread protests and rioting across the U.S., Republican leaders are pursuing harsher penalties for participants who block traffic, destroy property, or engage in other unlawful acts.

As a result, various anti-rioting bills have been introduced in at least 34 states, with Florida and its GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis leading the way, as The Hill reports.

New measures proposed in multiple states

Riots stemming from the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last year led to an estimated $1 billion in property damage and more than 20 deaths.

Earlier this week, former police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of murdering Floyd, but tensions remain high, and violent protests remain a distinct possibility in all corners of the nation.

Among the bills put forward by Republicans to handle the situation were proposals in Oklahoma, Iowa, and Florida, which seek to protect drivers from criminal penalties for running over protesters who block traffic. Such a measure has already been enacted in Florida.

In Indiana and Minnesota, lawmakers have proposed banning convicted rioters from holding government office and receiving certain forms of government assistance.

For his part, DeSantis heralded his state’s bill, which has garnered the most media attention thus far, as the “strongest anti-rioting, pro-law enforcement piece of legislation in the country” when he signed it into law on Monday.

“That’s what you call a riot”

The law also makes it a felony to destroy monuments, stiffens riot-related penalties, and makes local governments civilly liable for damage sustained during protests if they prevent police from responding.

It creates a new crime of “mob intimidation,” declaring it a misdemeanor to “compel or induce, or attempt to compel or induce, another person to do or refrain from doing any act or to assume, abandon, or maintain a particular viewpoint against his or her will.”

Of course, the new measures are not without sharp opposition from progressives, who have denounced them as heavy-handed.

Republican proponents, however, say they are not trying to stop anyone from exercising their rights but are simply targeting lawbreakers.

As GOP Oklahoma state Rob Standridge explained: “You can protest all you want, I encourage that, but once you start throwing things at people’s cars, and trying to break their windows and pull them out of the car, it’s no longer a protest, that’s what you call a riot.”

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16 Responses

    1. I totally agree. The ones that riot are the criminals they should be arrested The ones that hold up traffic let them suffer.

    2. ABSOLUTELY, That would stop alot IF Not ALL OF This Nonsence quickly But it needs to be all the States to be effective, Lets see how many states has the B—- LS To do it

    3. Absolutely… is common sense….and if the liberals say it is too hard handed….well, it is better than these protesters getting shot.

    4. Yes; what’s stopping them?
      By the way, if it’s a law and you break it you should actually receive the punishment.

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

    GOOD for the Republicans. We really need to get all these darn democrats out of our government and “NOW” and keep the protesters and rioters from destroying out cities and hurting the people of this country like they always do.

    1. Michael: AZ audit in process. Supposedly, Antifa and BLM setting up shop, being ready. 250 National Guard troops sent to border.
      Question: Good or bad idea? Rioting, destruction not imminent.

  3. I am in Arizona, and I totally agree. These people, I don’t care if they are black or white, they should be thrown in jail. This has gone on long enough!!!

  4. This is a good idea . And anyone breaking the law should be held to healthy fines ! Plus prison time !!!

  5. all of the bastards should be fined and shipped to a BLUE STATE. just like Sheriff Joe did in AZ give them a one way ticket to calif or some other BLUE STATE. the democrats love these people so ship them to a democrat run state.

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