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MIAMI, FLORIDA - JULY 07: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis speaks during a press conference about the coronavirus held at the Pan American Hospital on July 07, 2020 in Miami, Florida. Gov. DeSantis spoke about the rising numbers of COVID-19 cases in the state of Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed off on the state’s controversial ‘anti-rioting’ law.

The bill allows police to hold arrested protesters without bail until their first court appearance, and stiffens penalties for violence and property damage – including up to 10 years for damaging historic monuments.

“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,” DeSantis said.

It also includes added protection for police officers and safeguards to prevent municipalities from cutting the police budget.

Critics say the bill violates First Amendment rights. DeSantis called it the “strongest anti-rioting, pro-law enforcement measure in the country.”

The law took effect immediately.

 

Katherine Viloria is Beasley Media Group's Fort Myers Digital Content Manager. She loves to write, snap photos, and watch Grey's Anatomy. Connect with her on Instagram @alittlethisalittlekat