Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Proposes “Combating Violence, Disorder and Looting and Law Enforcement Protection Act”
Dear Friends & Neighbors,
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This week, on Monday, September 21, 2020, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said that the state of Florida is going to get tough on people who engage in violence during protests. Thusfar, there has not been any violent protests in Florida as in some other parts of the country. But to prevent or combat violence, disorder, and looting, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced the Combating Violence, Disorder and Looting and Law Enforcement Protection Act, listed in italics, below (Normally, this bill will be debated when law makers return in session in March, 2021, but Governor DeSantis is asking lawmakers to take it up during the one-day session in November. So please contact your state Representatives and Senators for your position soon. More explanations and break downs from both perspectives will be presented in videos below):
- New Criminal Offenses to Combat Rioting, Looting and Violence. A. Prohibition on Violent or Disorderly Assemblies: 3rd degree felony when 7 or more persons are involved in an assembly and cause damage to property or injury to other persons.B. Prohibition on Obstructing Roadways: 3rd degree felony to obstruct traffic during an unpermitted protest, demonstration or violent or disorderly assembly; driver is NOT liable for injury or death caused if fleeting for safety from a mob. C. Prohibition on Destroying or Toppling Monuments: 2nd degree felony to destroy public property during a violent or disorderly assembly. D. Prohibition on Harassment in Public Accommodations: 1st degree misdemeanor for a participant in a violent or disorderly assembly to harass or intimidate a person at a public accommodation, such as a restaurant. E. RICO Liability: RICO liability attaches to anyone who organizes or funds a violent or disorderly assembly.
- Increased Penalties A. Mandatory Minimum Jail Sentence: Striking a law enforcement officer (including with a projectile) during a violent or disorderly assembly = 6 months mandatory minimum jail sentence.B. Offense Enhancements: Offense and/or sentence enhancements for: (1) throwing an object during a violent or disorderly assembly that strikes a civilian or law enforcement officer; (2) assault/battery of a law enforcement officer during a violent or disorderly assembly; and (3) participation in a violent or disorderly assembly by an individual from another state.
- Citizen and Taxpayer Protection Measures
- No “Defund the Police” Permitted: Prohibits state grants or aid to any local government that slashes the budget for law enforcement services.
- Victim Compensation: Waives sovereign immunity to allow a victim of a crime related to a violent or disorderly assembly to sue local government for damages where the local government is grossly negligent in protecting persons and property.
- Government Employment/Benefits: Terminates state benefits and makes anyone ineligible for employment by state/local government if convicted of participating in a violent or disorderly assembly.
- Bail: No bond or bail until first appearance in court if charged with a crime related to participating in a violent or disorderly assembly; rebuttable presumption against bond or bail after first appearance.