On Monday Florida adopted the most controversial anti-riot law that its Governor Ron DeSantis calls “strongest anti-rioting, pro-law enforcement measure in the country”. The Florida GOP says that this law will stop riots. Civil rights groups and Florida Democrats have blasted the law as a violation of the First Amendment right to protest. The new Anti-riot law has received a greater number of criticisms than appreciation.
What does the Law Say?
The provides a controversial measure which is aimed at “combating public disorder”. The bill was written in response to mass protests against police brutality. The law brings new protection laws for the police and puts an end to bullying and intimidation tactics of the radical left as said by governor Ron DeSantis.
The law requires cities to receive approval from State before cutting their police budgets. It allows for an appeal if a municipality tries to reduce its police budget.
The law raises the charge for protesters who destroy historical structures accounting for 10 years of prison for damaging monuments. The bill also grants civil legal immunity to individuals who drive through roads that protestors block off. It allows holding arrested protestors until the first court appearance, thus, preventing them from immediately posting bail.
“Rights have limits, and violence is where the line is drawn,” said Republican Senator Danny Burgess, who carried the bill to the Senate. “This bill is about preventing violence.” “If you riot, if you loot, if you harm others, particularly if you harm a law enforcement officer during one of these violent assemblies, you’re going to jail,” said governor DeSantis surrounded by high ranked Republicans. The law took effect immediately.
What Do the Opponents say?
The opponents immediately said that the law is racist and is seeking to solve a problem that actually doesn’t exist in Florida. The Anti-Rot law enacts a sweeping series of new crimes and penalties that make it easier for the police to clamp down on situations of unrest.
“This legislation undermines every Floridian’s constitutional rights, and it is disgusting that the GOP would rather empower vigilantes and silence voice than listen to the majority of Floridians who oppose this dangerous bill,” Jesse Jones said in a statement. It is also being said that the bill protects no one, makes no one safer, does nothing for making people’s lives better. “The goal of this law is to silence dissent and create fear among Floridians who want to take to the streets to march for justice,” said Micah Kubic, executive director of ACLU of Florida.
The situation after signing the law is more like creating a new set of riots for people’s rights than curing the riot situation. By far the law has been controversial.
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