In news from the “Refreshing to Hear” files, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Monday that he is proposing a new legislative package that would introduce tough penalties for those who participate in violent protests, combat lawless looting being done in the name of racial activism, and completely defund any municipality that makes a move towards stripping law enforcement of their funds. The package, entitled the “Combating Violence, Disorder and Looting and Law Enforcement Protection Act,” is one of the biggest pro-police, pro-peace proposals any American governor has come up with since the trouble began in May.
From the Tampa Bay Times:
Gov. Ron DeSantis and some of the state’s top Republicans want to crack down on people who are involved in what DeSantis called “disorderly assemblies.”
DeSantis, speaking at the Polk County Sheriff’s Office in Winter Haven on Monday, called for a law that would give felony penalties to protesters who block traffic without a permit and to protesters who participate in gatherings of seven or more people that result in injuries or property damage.
Flanked by law enforcement officials and top legislative Republicans, DeSantis said the proposal, the “Combating Violence, Disorder and Looting and Law Enforcement Protection Act,” would be a “focal point” of the state’s next legislative session. The session begins March 2021.
DeSantis also attacked calls to “defund” the police, saying any municipality that moves to do so would lose any state funding. The term “defund the police” can mean many different things, including redirecting money for police departments to other governmental agencies for housing, mental health interventions and other social services.
In remarks to reporters, DeSantis said that not only should his proposal be at the center of next year’s legislative session, it should be at the forefront of the election.
“I think it’s important that every single person running for office in the state of Florida this year, whether you’re running for the House, whether you’re running for the Senate, you have an obligation to let the voters know where you stand on this bill,” DeSantis said. “Are you going to stand with law and order and safe communities, or are you going to stand with the mob?”
Standing by his side was Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd, who implored other states and jurisdictions to follow the governor’s lead.
“For everyone across the United States today, this is what leadership looks like,” said Judd. “So I ask the other states: where’s your governor? Where’s your speaker of the House? Where’s your president of the Senate? Why aren’t they standing together? This is remarkable.”
At least we know there’s at least one elected official in this country who still has his head on straight.