Ron DeSantis touts protest crackdown bill as ‘strongest set of reforms in the country’
Gov. Ron DeSantis

DeSantis took a victory lap.

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday night took to the Fox News Channel to tout his so-called “anti-riot” bill (HB 1), a piece of law and order legislation he celebrated as “the strongest set of reforms in the country” in a prime-time showcase.

The showcase legislation was rolled out on the day of the Capitol Insurrection, but was in fact conceptually floated amid protests in the aftermath of the police killing of George Floyd and the heated law-and-order rhetoric of the Donald Trump era.

The Senate passed the bill on Thursday. It now awaits DeSantis’ signature.

The Governor told host Sean Hannity that “over the summer we were one of the states that said we’re not having riots in the state of Florida. And so we put our foot down. We protected our folks.”

“The bill I’m going to sign very soon is the strongest set of reforms in the country to even strengthen our hand more,” DeSantis said.

“If a local government decides to defund the police, we are able to stop that. We can put people in jail if they riot or assault a police officer. In fact, if you assault a police officer during a riot, you have a mandatory jail sentence of at least six months. We also have provisions to prevent mob intimidation tactics. And I think it’s probably the most comprehensive piece of law and order legislation that I’ve seen,” DeSantis said.

The Governor said that in Florida if you get arrested for rioting, “you go to jail and stay in jail until you have your first appearance, and then the judge can determine whether you get your bond or not.”

DeSantis was more pugnacious in primetime than a spokesman was in a statement on the bill earlier this week.

“With the passage of HB 1, the Florida Legislature has answered Gov. DeSantis’ call to uphold the rights of our state’s residents while protecting businesses and supporting our brave men and women in law enforcement,” said Cody McCloud, press secretary for DeSantis, in a written statement.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • tjb

    April 17, 2021 at 10:01 am

    The beginning of a police state. With this bill, if I was at a protest and a stranger knocks over a trash can, I could be arrested along with the stranger even if I was peacefully protesting. I would now be facing a felony charge for peacefully exercising my First Amendment right.

    • Arthro

      April 17, 2021 at 11:26 am

      This is the best Governor in the US, hands down. No lockdowns, no handcuffing our economy, no riots, no defunding the police BS. DeSantis is on point and will be easily re-elected because people can recognize that he is sane compared to just about every Democrat out there. Once again, we’ll done, Governor.

    • Ron Ogden

      April 17, 2021 at 11:30 am

      Don’t hang around with people who knock over trash cans.

      • tjb

        April 17, 2021 at 12:56 pm

        If the same bill was in effect in DC on January 6, the DC police could have arrested thousands of Trumpers attacking the Capitol. They would have been charged with a felony and be held in prison until their trial. It is sad how DeSantis supporters are ok with totalitarianism and the killing of police at the Capitol.

  • Frankie M.

    April 17, 2021 at 11:12 pm

    Can’t wait to see how he enforces this when he has a Capitol Riot of Trumpers in Tally.

Comments are closed.


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