DeSantis signs ‘anti-riot’ bill into law
POLK COUNTY, Fla. – Governor DeSantis signed a Florida bill aimed at cracking down on violent protests and “combating public disorder” into law on Monday.
The governor signed HB 1 into law during a press conference with Florida lawmakers and law enforcement at the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.
The legislation, which was nicknamed the “Anti-Riot Bill,” is the “strongest anti-rioting, pro-law enforcement piece of legislation in the country,” Governor DeSantis said.
The bill includes several measures to combat any future violent riots in the state of Florida and enhances penalties for people who commit crimes during a riot.
The measures include preventing local governments from “defunding” law enforcement and holds local governments responsible through legal action if they fail to stop a riot.
The bill also lists penalties for people that “commandeer” highways, DeSantis said, and includes liability for “mob-intimidation.”
The legislation defines “riot” as a violent public disturbance involving three or more people acting with common intent resulting in injury to others, damage to property, or the imminent danger of injury or damage.
The governor and Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd both stressed that legal, peaceful protesting will not be harmed by this bill, saying that it only targets violent rioting.
DeSantis also said the bill protects all monuments in Florida and shows that the state “takes public safety very seriously.”
“Anybody who wears the uniform in service of protecting the public, this bill will make very clear the state of Florida stands with you,” DeSantis said.