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Political and Legislative

Florida Implements Nation’s Toughest Legislation on Protest Restrictions

Florida’s governor has signed a law that he called the “strongest anti-rioting, pro-law enforcement measure in the country.” The law was written in response to protests around the country following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police. It provides new protections for police and increases the penalties for people who take part in property damage or violence during protests.

Florida experienced little of the violence seen elsewhere in the country last summer following Floyd’s death. But Gov. Ron DeSantis said tougher laws were needed to make sure Florida doesn’t see the kind of protests that occurred in Minneapolis, Portland, Ore., and other cities. At the bill signing Monday, DeSantis said, “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.”

The law increases penalties for protesters who block roadways or deface public monuments. It creates a new crime, “mob intimidation.” And it requires that anyone arrested at a protest be denied bail until their first court appearance, likely making for overnight jail stays.

Read the source article at npr.org

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