Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Champions Legislation to Charge Criminal Rioters For Damages, Allow Victims to Sue Complicit Government Officials

US Representative Ron DeSantis, Republican of Florida, and candidate for Florida Governor, speaks during a rally with US President Donald Trump at Florida State Fairgrounds Expo Hall in Tampa, Florida, on July 31, 2018. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced his support for new legislation penalizing those who engage in violent “protests” and criminal riots during a Monday press conference.

DeSantis spoke at the Polk County Sheriff’s Department headquarters on his support for new anti-riot legislation. He’s calling the package the Combating Violence, Disorder, and Looting Act, with another law called the Law Enforcement Protection Act.

The legislative package DeSantis revealed would enable felony charges to be filed against criminal rioters who carry out property damages against private or governmental property.

It would also allow for criminal charges to be filed against rioters who block public roadways under the guise of their stunt, a highly dangerous tactic favored by ANTIFA and BLM street criminals.

DeSantis’ proposal would make criminal rioters fully liable for property damages they create under the guise of political protest. Perhaps most significantly, it would allow those victimized by riots to sue government officials and obtain damages if they’re demonstrated to have failed in their duties to safeguard public safety. This provision would force Democratic officials who tacitly support BLM and ANTIFA mob action to enforce the laws against vandalism and destruction, even if they find it politically inconvenient.

It would make mob harassment-style action against private citizens a misdemeanor offense, with DeSantis citing video footage of BLM rioters aggressively berating restaurant patrons as an imperative for the law.

You see these videos of these innocent people eating dinner and you have these crazed lunatics just screaming at them and intimidating them,” DeSantis said. “You’re not going to do that in the state of Florida.

DeSantis’ proposal would also strip state funding from municipalities that defund their local police departments. It would require those who are arrested and charged with riot offenses to be held without bail until their initial court appearances, with DeSantis citing the instant catch-and-release of riot offenders in the dumpster fire of Portland as a rationale for the requirement.

This is almost certainly the strongest comprehensive anti-riot legislation advanced by a public official since the onset of BLM and ANTIFA’s wave of terror at the beginning of the summer. The Florida legislature should immediately move to pass the proposal, and other state governments should look to enact comparable legislation.

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