Florida’s Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis wants to pass so-called anti-mob legislation aimed at protests against police brutality in cities around the U.S. that would expand Florida’s Stand Your Ground law.
Critics say the governor’s move is a dog whistle for far-right extremists, armed vigilantes and white supremacists that will allow bystanders to shoot and kill looters, New4Jax reported.
The proposal could expand Florida’s Stand Your Ground law — the one that protected George Zimmerman in the shooting death of 17-year-old Miami Gardens resident Trayvon Martin — and allow business owners to shoot and kill looters in defense of their businesses.
The governor’s proposed “Combatting Violence, Disorder and Looting and Law Enforcement Protection Act” would create new offenses targeting violence at protests, increase penalties and implement other hard-line actions. A “citizen and taxpayer protection measure” would prohibit state grants and aid to local governments that cut law enforcement budgets, a direct counter to the Defund the Police movement, FloridaPolitics.com reported.
“DeSantis really wants citizens to be able to shoot people,” Zack Linly wrote for The Root.
Democratic Sen. Randolph Bracy has condemned DeSantis’ proposed anti-mob legislation as reckless and irresponsible “Trumpism.”
“We cannot allow death to be the punishment for a property crime because we do not live in a lawless society,” said Bracy, whose district includes parts of Orange County, in a news release issued by Senate Democrats.
Since the May 25 death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody, thousands of Floridians have marched in peaceful protests, Bracy said. These are “impassioned marches that represent the real and genuine frustrations within the endless failure to reform police practices and the broader criminal justice system,” according to the release from Senate Democrats.
“Gov. DeSantis’ brand of conservatism is looking more and more like Trumpism,” Bracy added. “His proposals to ‘crack down on protests’ will only fuel racial unrest and violence, not dampen them. DeSantis is treating the law as a playbook for his next election which is reckless and irresponsible. I condemn this legislation and consider it bad policy.”
DeSantis promised in September to crack down on “violent and disorderly assemblies” after protests erupted around the U.S. Some of the protests turned violent but most did not.
“Apparently, DeSantis’ idea of making good on his promise is giving vigilantes more power in the state where George Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin,” The Root reported.
ACLED — the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project — collected data and mapped Black Lives Matter protests from May 24 to Aug. 22, 2020.
In more than 93 percent of demonstrations connected to BLM, protesters did not engage in violence or destructive activity. Peaceful protests were reported in 2,400+ locations around the country. Violent demonstrations were limited to less than 220 locations —less than 10 percent, according to the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project. ACLED is a disaggregated data collection, analysis, and crisis mapping project.
Listen to GHOGH with Jamarlin Martin | Episode 73: Jamarlin Martin Jamarlin makes the case for why this is a multi-factor rebellion vs. just protests about George Floyd. He discusses the Democratic Party’s sneaky relationship with the police in cities and states under Dem control, and why Joe Biden is a cop and the Steve Jobs of mass incarceration.
In many urban areas like Portland, Oregon, which has seen sustained protests since Floyd’s killing, violent demonstrations have been mostly confined to specific blocks rather than dispersed throughout the city, CNN reported.
Yet a poll suggested that 42 percent of respondents believed “most protesters (associated with the BLM movement) are trying to incite violence or destroy property,” FiveThirtyEight reported in June 2020.
Some conservatives have rallied behind Kyle Rittenhouse, the teen accused of shooting and killing two protesters in Kenosha, Wis. who were protesting a white police officer’s shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black Kenosha resident.
Armed civilians with guns said they had come to downtown Kenosha to protect businesses and private property after two nights of fires, looting and destruction, New York Times reported.
Strangers have poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into Rittenhouse’s legal fund.