As violent protests continue across the U.S. following the death of George Floyd in 2020, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is taking a stand against looters in new legislation that would allow the use of force to protect people’s property.
DeSantis has drafted “anti-mob” legislation that would expand the state’s Stand Your Ground law and prevent “violent and disorderly assemblies” by permitting violence against anyone involved in the “interruption or impairment” of a business.
“It allows for vigilantes to justify their actions,” said Denise Georges, a former Miami-Dade County prosecutor who has worked with Stand Your Ground. “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.”
The governor reportedly submitted copies of the legislation to Florida’s Senate Committee on Criminal Justice and the House Judiciary Committee.
“It’s clear that the Trump beauty pageant is still going on with governors and senators, who all want to be the next Trump,” said Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber. “And the governor is clearly a very good contestant.”
This comes after Florida Sheriff Bob Johnson of Santa Rosa County encouraged civilians last month to take matters into their own hands after a homeowner recently shot an intruder.
“If somebody is breaking into your house, you’re more than welcome to shoot at them in Santa Rosa County,” Johnson said. “We prefer that you do actually.”
Johnson also said that shooting intruders “save taxpayer’s money,” and threatened anyone who chooses to break into homes in his county.
“We have a gun safety class we put on every other Saturday and if you take that you’ll shoot a lot better and hopefully save taxpayer’s money,” the sheriff said.
According to the Florida statute, armed citizens are allowed to shoot anyone they suspect of trespassing in their homes or businesses.
“A person who is in a dwelling or residence in which the person has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and use or threaten to use,” the statute states.