Miami – Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced on Monday a bill to crack down on “violent and disorganized protests,” which also provides for the withdrawal of public funds to local governments that “defund” the Police.
During a press conference in Winter Haven, a city located in Polk County (center), DeSantis presented the legislative project called “Fighting Violence, Disorder, Looting and the Protection of Law Enforcement”, which it is proposed to be the “main focus” of the next session in state parliament.
The new measures include making blocking a street or highway during a protest a felony, third degree.RELATED
In addition, he indicated, there will be sanctions for those who damage public buildings. Likewise, people found guilty of participating in violent acts will lose their right to economic unemployment benefit.
“If you throw a brick and hit a police officer, you are going to go to jail,” warned the governor.
DeSantis said the bill also provides for not offering bail until the first court appearance for those who hit a police officer.
“We are going to find out who is organizing this and hold them accountable,” he added.
Surrounded by Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd, as well as police chiefs from across the state, DeSantis said the new package of measures was designed to crack down on violent and disorderly protests.
Joining the Republican were Chris Sprowls, a member of the Florida House of Representatives, and Wilton Simpson, of the state Senate.
“It is a very solid package. I think what he is warning is that we are not going to let Florida follow the path that other places (in the country) have gone ”.
Another component of the new package of measures envisages eliminating the ability of local governments to withdraw funds from law enforcement agencies.
“We are not going to allow the municipal governments to leave the Police without funds. If they do, then the state will eliminate any grants or aid they receive, “he said.
Polk’s sheriff called the announcement by the Republican governor “extraordinary.”
“This is a state where people want to come on vacation. This is a state where people can grow their business. This is a state you can be sure of, ”Judd said.
Republican DeSantis’ announcement comes at a time when President Donald Trump is making the law one of the focuses of his reelection campaign.