Florida Lawmakers Approve ‘Anti-Riot’ Combating Public Disorder Bill

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Florida’s Republican-controlled legislature approved an “anti-riot” Combating Public Disorder bill on Thursday that includes stiffer penalties against violent protesters, creates disincentives for local governments to adopt “defund the police” measures, and gives citizens more protections such as by making drivers not civilly liable for injury or death if “fleeing for safety from a mob.”

The bill, called HB1: Combating Public Disorder, imposes felony-level penalties for engaging in violent or disorderly assemblies, obstructing traffic during unpermitted protests, and for destroying or toppling monuments, according to a fact sheet from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office (pdf). It also increases criminal penalties for assaulting police officers during riots, increases liability for anyone who organizes or funds a violent or disorderly assembly, and makes it easier for victims of riots to sue local governments for damages. The bill also says that local governments cannot cut their police budget without approval from the state.

Florida Lawmakers Approve ‘Anti-Riot’ Combating Public Disorder Bill
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