WATCH: Gov. Ron DeSantis Signs Anti-Riot Bill To Stop Violent Protests And Statue-Toppling

Written by Wes Walker on April 20, 2021

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The stark difference between leadership priorities in the left or right goes far beyond just spending priorities and pandemic response.

While Antifa Maxine Waters breaks curfew to encourage a city that has been rioting to kick it up a notch if they don’t get the verdict they think they deserve, De Santis is taking Florida in a very different direction. (Again.)

He is pleased to announce a bill he is signing into law that will protect peaceful protests, but explicitly crack down on any form of riotous behavior.

The bill, which covers 61 pages, makes several changes to Florida criminal and administrative law, and will:

  • Make it more difficult for cities and counties to reduce funding for law enforcement, allowing local elected officials to challenge those budget decisions, and giving the state power to approve or amend the local budget
  • Allow those local governments to be sued if they fail to stop a riot
  • Define “riot” as a violent public disturbance involving 3 or more people acting with common intent resulting in injury to others, damage to property, or the imminent danger of injury or damage
  • Enhance penalties for people who commit crimes during a riot
  • Create a new second-degree felony called an “aggravated riot,” which occurs when the riot has more than 25 participants, causes great bodily harm or more than $5,000 in property damage, uses or threatens to use a deadly weapon, or blocks roadways by force or threat of force

Florida Sen. Danny Burgess (R-Zephyrhills), who sponsored the legislation, said he felt this framework was needed to draw a distinction between peaceful and violent behavior.

“Not only did we do that to put the public on notice as to what constitutes a riot, but also to make it clear to both protester and law enforcement where that line in the law is drawn,” said Burgess. — WFLA

Here is Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd saying that you’re welcome to move to Florida — just don’t vote the “stupid way you did up north.”

In case anyone was still wondering about why this bill is important, we are reminded of other cities that have pivoted in the other direction.

Leadership really does make a difference.

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