Florida Governor Ron DeSantis reportedly drafted a legislation that would expand the state’s “Stand Your Ground” law to allow citizens to defend themselves against rioters and looters.
DeSantis’ newest proposal was in response to months-long of often-violent protests across the country — including in Florida, which caused billions of dollars in damages to public and private properties over the summer.
The Tampa Bay Times reported that the new Florida legislation would expand the list under the states’ self-defense law to allow the use of force against rioters who engage in looting or arson that “results in the interruption or impairment of a business operation.”
JUST IN: Florida Gov DeSantis Introduces ‘Anti-Mob’ Law, Allows Citizens to Protect Themselves from Rioters https://t.co/gl5lJYvUru
— Kambree (@KamVTV) November 11, 2020
The draft legislation
“The proposal would expand the list of ‘forcible felonies’ under Florida’s self-defense law to justify the use of force against people who engage in criminal mischief that results in the ‘interruption or impairment’ of a business, and looting, which the draft defines as a burglary within 500 feet of a ‘violent or disorderly assembly,’” the local media said.
It added that under Governor DeSantis’ draft legislation, criminal penalties for people involved in “violent or disorderly assemblies,” that would disrupt the public by blocking traffic, would be raised to “third-degree felony” — while providing “immunity” to drivers who claim to have unintentionally killed or injured protesters who block traffic.”
It will also allow the state to withhold funds from local governments that would move to slash or defund the police force.
Local reports described the proposal as “anti-mob” adding concerns of how the proposed legislation could be used by armed citizens to justify shooting and potentially killing those merely suspected of looting or rioting.
Governor DeSantis committed in September to crack down on “violent and disorderly assemblies” in the state citing “reports of unrest” in many parts of the country triggered by the death of Black Minneapolis man, George Floyd, in police custody last May 25.
Crackdown on looters, rioters
“Florida’s Stand Your Ground law eliminated the duty of a person to retreat before using force to counter a threat — which critics say fosters a Wild West shoot-first, ask-questions-later mentality,” the Miami Herald said.
It added that the draft bill “also gave judges more leeway to grant ‘immunity’ to someone they believed acted in self-defense before ever letting a case get to the jury.”
The draft of the proposed legislation, gathered by Miami Herald, is yet to be filed at the Florida legislature.
The local publication said however that Governor DeSantis reportedly submitted copies of the draft proposal to Florida’s Senate Committee on Criminal Justice and the House Judiciary Committee.
Source: The Scoop