Florida’s Republican Governor Ron DeSantis announced new legislation on Monday that would toughen penalties over property damage and other misdemeanors during protests.
According to Politico, “DeSantis told reporters during a news briefing at the Polk County Sheriff’s Office the bill would charge protesters with felonies for damaging property and inflicting injuries, as well as sentence them to mandatory jail time for hitting a law enforcement officer. The bill, which state lawmakers will consider during next year’s legislative session, would also bar protesters who commit crimes from receiving state benefits or working for the state.”
“We’re not going to go down the road that other places have gone,” DeSantis said. “If you do it, and you know that a ton of bricks will rain down on you, then I think people will think twice about engaging in this type of conduct.”
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. pic.twitter.com/ITl5GmmrZJ
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) September 21, 2020
The news of the new bill sparked outrage on social media, many calling DeSantis a “fascist” for it.
Thank you, Mussulini, I feel safer already in NYC. Said another way: I won't being visiting Florida as long as this legislation is alive. My tourist dollars will go to an NYC staycation or Portland, Seattle, or cities & states that respect the Constitution.
— Rick Larios 🇺🇲 (@ricklarios) September 21, 2020
Where’s the legislation to charge police officers abusing their authority, or attacking peaceful protesters either physically or with chemical weapons?
Where’s the minimum sentences for them?
— John (@DotDotDot_John) September 21, 2020
This is literal actual fascism.
— Cruel Angel's Graduate Dissertation (Rory) (@LorelaiMerri) September 21, 2020
I'm still looking forward to you being held accountable for your failings as Governor. I'm sure there are a host of criminal offences to be found.
— Dan Rubin (@danrubin) September 21, 2020
So if I'm peacefully protesting and the guy 10 feet away from me decides to go rogue, I can be arrested by association? Sounds a bit Fascist.
— SSton (@SharinStone) September 21, 2020
Remember just a couple of months ago when people angry about covid measures took to the streets and pushed their way into government buildings, shoved cops and blocked roads? Do you think they all deserve jail, felony convictions and no access to social programs too? pic.twitter.com/CALYXZm3UN
— 🏚️Feudal Era, USA🏰 (@fooblued) September 21, 2020
So when a police officer kills an unarmed person they will have the same charges brought against them.
— Lisa Gonzalez (@LisaGon70173044) September 21, 2020