Governor Ron DeSantis has made good on his promise to sign into law the controversial anti-Rioting legislation (HB 1)that he tasked Republican legislators to present to him after the 2020 Black Lives Matter/ ANTIFA-inspired rioting that caused $5 billion in damage and resulted in countless injuries and 30 deaths.
Gov. DeSantis stood in front of CFO Jimmy Patronis, Attorney General Ashley Moody, Speaker Chris Sprowls, and Senate President Wilton Simpson, as he made the announcement that he would sign into law the bill to curb “mob activity or violent assemblies.”
“It is the strongest anti-rioting, pro-law enforcement piece of legislation in the country. There is nothing even close,” said Gov. DeSantis about the bill.
DeSantis said that HB. 1 tackled “head-on” the idea to “defund police,” an argument he says in dead on arrival in Florida because under his governorship, defunding law enforcement was “not going to happen.”
“This bill prevents local governments from defunding law enforcement,” said DeSantis, adding that crime has gone up in cities that have already cut police funding before calling the idea of defunding police “an insane theory” that was “not going to be allowed to ever carry the day in the state of Florida.”
DeSantis also pointed out that the bill addresses “dereliction of duty” when municipalities tell the police to stand down, warning that cites who are “derelict” can be sued by those victimized by police inaction as a result of stand-down orders being given by city officials.
“This bill protects all monuments in Florida. You have no right to go in and take down monuments. We are not going to let the mob win the day,” DeSantis continued.
“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,” added DeSantis about those individuals who choose to use “mob intimidation” tactics against others, and promising to push those who engage in vandalism, such as the toppling of monuments.
Democratic State Legislators like Senator Shevrin Jones and Agricultural Commissioner Nikki Fried have been pushing back against HB 1, calling the anti-rioting legislation “racist” because they contend that its sole purpose is to target minorities.
“The signing of #HB1 being signed today is a deliberate scare tactic, considering that closing arguments in the #DerekChauvinTrial started today. This was never about protecting “peaceful protesters”, it has always been about silencing a group of protesters, black & brown voices,” stated Sen. Jones.
Commissioner Fried echoed what Jones said about the bill and DeSantis targeting minorities.
Here is Fried’s prepared statement released moments after DeSantis signed HB 1 into law:
“This isn’t a game. This Governor and his Republican allies love to talk about the Constitution while shredding it with extreme legislation like HB 1. Silencing the speech of those seeking equality is straight from the Communist regime playbook. The criminal aspects of this bill are already illegal. HB 1 protects no one, makes no one safer, and does nothing to make people’s lives better. It’s simply to appease the Governor’s delusion of widespread lawlessness, and it’s frightening to imagine the lengths to which he’ll go to strip away rights and freedoms for political gain. The message from this Governor and his enablers is loud and clear: if you disagree with him, you will be silenced.”