The Florida Legislature approved on Thursday an anti-riot bill that expands the powers of law enforcement to make arrests at demonstrations and prevent violent protests and looting.
With 23 votes in favor and 17 against, the Senate, of Republican majority, approved this initiative defined as “fight against violence, disorder and looting and law enforcement protection law.”
The measure thus culminated its passage in the Legislature, although it had already been approved in the Lower House in March, and now passes into the hands of the Governor of Florida, Republican Ron DeSantis, who is expected to sign it and it will go into effect immediately.
DeSantis had announced the measure in 2020 following some of the violent Black Lives Matters demonstrations that resulted in looting, injuries and vandalism of private property across the country.
Republican Senator Danny Burgess, sponsor of the bill, assured that this law “does not protect violence” and that it still gives protesters the ability to exercise their First Amendment right, which guarantees freedom of worship, speech, press and assembly, Channel 10, Tampa Bay reported.