Proposal slaps violent protestors with third-degree felony charges
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) is protecting civilians with a bill that dramatically increases the penalties against crimes that occur during protests.
“What you have to have is clear and predictable penalties,” said DeSantis on Monday. “I look at what goes on in Portland and they’ll have people; they’ll arrest them. These are scraggly-looking ANTIFA types. They get their mugshot taken and then they get released. And it’s like a carousel; and on and on it goes.”
DeSantis’s proposal criminalizes assemblies during which property damage or injury occurs and punishes protestors who engage in violence or obstruct traffic during such assemblies with third-degree felony charges.
Under the bill, any person convicted of destroying a monument during a violent assembly will be hit with a second-degree felony charge; any person convicted of harassing someone at a public venue will be punished with a first-degree misdemeanor; any person convicted of attacking a police officer will be punished with a mandatory minimum sentence of six months.
In addition, any individual convicted of participating in a violent protest will lose eligibility for state benefits and state/local government employment. Any individual charged with a crime related to a violent protest will have no bail option until after his/her first court appearance.
Motorists who inadvertently kill or injure someone while fleeing a violent assembly will not be charged.