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Gov. DeSantis Signs HB1 Into Law

Photo: Gov. Ron DeSantis
Photo: Gov. Ron DeSantis

A so-called “anti-rioting bill” has been signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis today. 

The "combating public disorder" bill raises penalties for people charged in connection with violent riots, and for damaging or destroying monuments. 

It also makes it harder for local governments to cut funding to police departments. 

Gov. Ron DeSantis says the bill shows the state of Florida takes public safety seriously.

“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. We're going to hold you accountable. And we're not going to end up like Portland, where this is just a daily occurrence where these people are doing this. They get arrested, they have their mugshot taken, and then they get put right back on the street to do it again.”

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The bill comes at a time of racial unrest throughout the country after the police killings of 13-year-old Adam Toledo in Chicago and 20-year-old Daunte Wright in a suburb of Minneapolis.  

DeSantis says the law will still allow for peaceful protests, but not violent riots.

“And there should be no doubt the minute I sign this bill into law, anybody who wears the uniform in service of protecting the public should this bill will make very clear the state of Florida stands with you.”

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Critics say the bill will curb peaceful demonstrations. 

Danielle Prieur covers education in Central Florida.