Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed off on the state’s controversial ‘anti-rioting’ law.
The bill allows police to hold arrested protesters without bail until their first court appearance, and stiffens penalties for violence and property damage – including up to 10 years for damaging historic monuments.
“If you riot, if you loot, if you harm others, particularly if you harm a law enforcement officer during one of these violent assemblies, you’re going to jail,” DeSantis said.
It also includes added protection for police officers and safeguards to prevent municipalities from cutting the police budget.
Critics say the bill violates First Amendment rights. DeSantis called it the “strongest anti-rioting, pro-law enforcement measure in the country.”
The law took effect immediately.
Today, surrounded by our state’s law enforcement community, I proudly signed HB 1 into law, which makes clear that rioting and violence have absolutely no place in Florida and provides protections for the brave men and women who keep our communities safe. pic.twitter.com/ULs6cx8xzy— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) April 19, 2021
HB 1 protects Floridians against attempts by local govts to defund law enforcement, provides the means to hold local govt. accountable for failing to protect people & property from rioting, & enacts strong penalties against those engaged in rioting, looting & violent assemblies. pic.twitter.com/cSfH1vwc0W— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) April 19, 2021