Florida Passes ‘Anti-Riot’ Bill That Basically Makes It Legal For Drivers To Run Over Protestors

Florida’s Republican Governor Ron DeSantis has signed into law a new bill that basically makes it legal for drivers to run over protesters. Not only does it grant civil immunity to drivers who use their cars to physically injure or even kill protesters but it also gives police extra power to decide what actually counts as a protest in the first place.

  1. It’s being referred to as an “anti-riot” bill. However, in reality it decreases the right of the people to peacefully protest and also takes away all accountability for those who would harm protesters simply because they disagree with their cause. The law also increases penalties for any actions deemed to be “civil unrest,” giving police broad rights to choose what qualifies.
  2. DeSantis is pretty proud of this garbage bill. “I think it’s really remarkable if you look at the breadth of this particular piece of legislation,” he said in a press conference prior to the signing. “It is the strongest anti-rioting, pro-law-enforcement piece of legislation in the country. There’s just nothing even close.” Probably a good thing considering the police are murdering people left and right these days…
  3. Many members of the Florida senate didn’t support the “anti-riot” measure. It only barely passed last week with a vote of 23-17. One of the Republicans opposed it along with the single Democrat. According to Business Insider, the law defines a “riot” as three or more people “acting with the common intent to assist each other in violent and disorderly conduct” including but not limited to damage to property, danger of injury/damage, or injury to another person. That’s pretty broad!
  4. So, what about that whole civil immunity thing? Well, it means that anyone who runs over a protester who’s blocking the road or even standing in it can get off scot-free, no questions asked, and won’t be prosecuted.
  5. Wait, but there’s more! Anyone determined to have been taking part in a “riot” (read: peaceful protest, by Florida’s measures) will lose their right to be bailed and will stay in prison until their first court hearing, whenever that ends up being. They’ll also have increased punishments with officers being able to claim they were “assaulted” by said “rioter.” Any local Florida governments who think this is bonkers (which it is) and decide to go against it will be penalized by the state. Glad to see we’re turning into a full-on fascist state!
Jennifer Still is a writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience. The managing editor of Bolde, she has bylines in Vanity Fair, Business Insider, The New York Times, Glamour, Bon Appetit, and many more. You can follow her on Twitter @jenniferlstill