Dems, ACLU fume over new DeSantis bill that increases penalties for rioters

Democrats are expressing disgust and dismay on social media for a wide ranging set of proposals by Florida governor Ron DeSantis aimed at promoting law and order and punishing violent rioters, looters, and mobs.

The bill threatens felonies and increased jail time for protesters that turn violent. The bill also makes a non-permitted traffic-blocking protest a 3rd degree felony and protects drivers from liability if they are fleeing a mob to safety and injure or kill someone in the process.

DeSantis discussed the bill while appearing on Tucker Carlson tonight.

Tuesday, DeSantis tweeted the main points of the bill and wrote “Today I announced bold legislation that creates new criminal offenses and increases penalties for those who target law enforcement and participate in violent or disorderly assemblies. We will always stand with our men and women in uniform who keep our communities safe.”

Many Democrats on Twitter are not fans of the bill.

The Broward County chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America wrote “Ron DeSantis and the Florida GOP’s new crime bill would be one of the most draconian in the country. It is not only a blatant attempt to suppress our first amendment rights to freedom of assembly but it encourages violence against protesters and would disenfranchise protesters.”

Florida Democrats wrote “The fact that the Republican legislators can come up with a bill to criminalize peaceful protests, but can not muster the will to fix our broken unemployment system or deal with COVID-19, shows just how little they actually care about Floridians.”

The ACLU of Florida wrote “[email protected]’ proposal is undemocratic and hostile to Americans’ shared values. This effort has one goal: silence, criminalize, and penalize Floridians who want to see justice for Black lives lost to racialized violence and brutality at the hands of law enforcement.