*Florida governor Ron DeSantis appears to want to make it easier for white citizens to kill people of color who break the law.
Such is the debate currently on social media amid news that DeSantis has drafted a bill to expand the state’s “stand your ground” laws, proposing that people be allowed to shoot “looters.”
As the Miami Herald reports, DeSantis’ new “anti-mob” legislation would allow citizens to shoot “rioters” and “looters” within 500 feet of a “violent or disorderly assembly.”
The proposal appears to be aimed at the Black Lives Matter movement and demonstrators against police brutality and racial injustice.
DeSantis’ bill also proposes that drivers who “accidentally” kill or injure (BLM) protesters be offered immunity.
“It dangerously gives armed private citizens power to kill as they subjectively determine what constitutes ‘criminal mischief’ that interferes with a business,” former Miami-Dade prosecutor Aubrey Webb told the Herald. “Someone graffiti-ing ‘Black Lives Matter’ on a wall? Urinating behind a dumpster? Blocking an entrance?”
“The Boston Tea Party members would have been lawfully shot under Florida’s law by the British East India Tea Company,” Webb added.
“It allows for vigilantes to justify their actions,” former Miami-Dade County prosecutor Denise Georges, who has prosecuted Stand Your Ground cases, told The Miami 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.”
This proposed expansion to the Stand Your Ground Law includes mandatory sentencing for striking a law enforcement officer and punishment for those that organize public demonstrations.
The bill would also strip local governments of the ability to defund law enforcement agencies.