Gov. DeSantis Introduces ‘Anti-Mob’ Legislation To Allow Floridians To Shoot Rioters And Looters

Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has proposed an “anti-mob” bill that would allow residents to shoot rioters and looters who target businesses following nationwide unrest.

The law would expand the state’s self-defense law, which currently forbids “the use of force in defense of property,” by increasing what constitutes a “forcible felony,” according to the Miami Herald. DeSantis seeks to make looting or “interruption or impairment” of a business such a felony, thereby justifying deadly force to prevent it, the local outlet reported.

The Republican’s bill would also make it a third-degree felony to obstruct traffic, and would allow drivers to have legal immunity if they unintentionally kill or maim anyone engaging in blocking a roadway during a demonstration, according to the Herald. The law, which is only a draft at the time of publishing, is also set to grant state authorities the ability to withhold funds from localities that choose to reduce their police budgets, the local outlet reported.

Critics of the bill claim the potential legislation will embolden vigilantes.

“It allows for vigilantes to justify their actions,” former Miami-Dade County prosecutor Denise Georges told the Herald. “It also allows for death to be the punishment for a property crime — and that is cruel and unusual punishment. We cannot live in a lawless society where taking a life is done so casually and recklessly.”

DeSantis’ push comes after months-long nationwide unrest that followed the death of George Floyd, who died after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for over eight minutes, video showed.

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