Yesterday Florida Governor Ron DeSantis introduced an absolutely perfect set of guidelines that will frame a new set of laws within Florida called the “Combating Violence, Disorder and Looting and Law Enforcement Protection Act.” The Florida House and Senate will take up the bill as their first order of business. Buckets of common sense.
The legal measures and penalties [Summary Here] are direct, straight forward, specific to the current situation and absolutely pitch-perfect to immediately stop any civil disorder that would impede, impact or stop the domestic tranquility for Florida residents. This includes the use of RICO statutes to prosecute those who organize chaos.
Hopefully more governors will take this approach. WATCH:
As released, the basic elements of the new Florida law encompass the following:
♦ New Criminal Offenses to Combat Rioting, Looting and Violence:
- Prohibition on Violent or Disorderly Assemblies: 3rd degree felony when 7 or more persons are involved in an assembly and cause damage to property or injury to other persons.
- Prohibition on Obstructing Roadways: 3rd degree felony to obstruct traffic during an unpermitted protest, demonstration or violent or disorderly assembly; driver is NOT liable for injury or death caused if fleeing for safety from a mob.
- Prohibition on Destroying or Toppling Monuments: 2nd degree felony to destroy public property during a violent or disorderly assembly.
- Prohibition on Harassment in Public Accommodations: 1st degree misdemeanor for a participant in a violent or disorderly assembly to harass or intimidate a person at a public accommodation, such as a restaurant.
- RICO Liability: RICO liability attaches to anyone who organizes or funds a violent or disorderly assembly.
♦ Increased Penalties
- Mandatory Minimum Jail Sentence: Striking a law enforcement officer (including with a projectile) during a violent or disorderly assembly = 6 months mandatory minimum jail sentence.
- Offense Enhancements: Offense and/or sentence enhancements for: (1) throwing an object during a violent or disorderly assembly that strikes a civilian or law enforcement officer; (2) assault/battery of a law enforcement officer during a violent or disorderly assembly; and (3) participation in a violent or disorderly assembly by an individual from another state.
♦ Citizen and Taxpayer Protection Measures
- No “Defund the Police” Permitted: Prohibits state grants or aid to any local government that slashes the budget for law enforcement services.
- Victim Compensation: Waives sovereign immunity to allow a victim of a crime related to a violent or disorderly assembly to sue local government for damages where the local government is grossly negligent in protecting persons and property.
- Government Employment/Benefits: Terminates state benefits and makes anyone ineligible for employment by state/local government if convicted of participating in a violent or disorderly assembly.
- Bail: No bond or bail until first appearance in court if charged with a crime related to participating in a violent or disorderly assembly; rebuttable presumption against bond or bail after first appearance.
“Protesting is a basic constitutional right of free speech, which I wholeheartedly support,” said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd. “Violence, rioting, looting, and vandalism are illegal acts – not rights. Nothing else matters if you and your children aren’t safe. Crime is at a 48-year-low in the state of Florida and we intend to keep it that way. Criminals who destroy and tear down our communities and victimize others must be held accountable, through quick action and swift punishment. We are sending a message that we will not sit back and allow violence to run amuck, and we will arrest violent criminals, and those who loot, riot, and vandalize – guaranteed. I applaud Governor DeSantis’ initiative to ensure that the safety of Florida residents and visitors comes first.”
“It’s my honor to stand in support with Governor DeSantis today,” said Florida Sheriffs Association President and Gilchrist County Sheriff Bobby Schultz. “I’m thankful Governor DeSantis is supplying public safety tools to help ensure that our communities and residents are protected.”
“On behalf of the Florida Police Chiefs Association and over 900 of Florida’s top law enforcement executives from across every region of the state, we thank Governor DeSantis for his strong leadership and dedication to maintaining public order and keeping the peace,” said Florida Police Chiefs Association President and Satellite Beach Police Department Chief Jeff Pearson. “The measures he put forth today are urgently needed to protect the lives and property of every Floridian.” (more)
Understanding that media has a tendency to obfuscate terminology, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd brought visual aids to help the assembled press pool with their reporting.
Sheriff Grady Judd is somewhat of a rockstar in central Florida. Judd was once asked by a local reporter why a known cop killer was shot 38 times in an exchange of gunfire during his arrest… Judd replied: “because that’s all the bullets we had.”