In Florida, Republican Governor Ron DeSantis passed a new controversial bill that grants civil immunity to drivers who will run down protesters.
The legislation or ‘anti-riot’ bill will also grant extra protection to the police. However, what makes the bill alarming is that it appears to include a number of amendments that will repress the protester’s rights, as well as increased penalties for civil unrest.
“I think it’s really remarkable if you look at the breadth of this particular piece of legislation,” DeSantis told the press after signing the controversial bill into law. “It is the strongest anti-rioting, pro-law-enforcement piece of legislation in the country. There’s just nothing even close.”
Last week, the anti-riot bill was barely passed in the Florida Senate with a 23-17 split.
According to Business Insider, the law aims to define ‘riot’ as three or more people ‘acting with the common intent to assist each other in violent and disorderly conduct’. This also includes damage to property, harm to another person, or danger of damage or injury.
The bill also grants civil immunity to anyone who runs over a protester if they are in or blocking the road.
In addition, the anti-riot bill will also deny the right to bail for arrested protesters. This means they will be forced to be detained until the first court hearing happens, and increased penalties for assaulting an officer while engaging in the ‘riot’.
It also stated that local governments can be held accountable and apprehended if they do not prevent a ‘riot’, including an ability to file objections to funding cuts—which feeds into the anti ‘defund the police’ stance.