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US A Trump supporter could be the first Floridian prosecuted under Ron DeSantis' new anti-protest law

04:04  24 june  2021
04:04  24 june  2021 Source:   salon.com

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Ron DeSantis wants to amend the state's "stand your ground" law in a proposal that would expand one of the broadest laws of its kind in the country, worrying critics who say it could empower people to use violence during chaotic and tense confrontations at protests . The move is part of DeSantis ' In general, Floridians can defend themselves with deadly force if they believe they are in imminent danger or death — and not only when they are inside their homes. The person being threatened is not required to try to flee. At least two dozen other states do not demand that people retreat from their

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signs a bill creating tougher penalties for people who participate in violent protests , in Winter Haven, Fla., on April 19. Florida’s Republican governor, Ron DeSantis , seldom passes up an opportunity to celebrate the Sunshine State’s greatness under his watch. Earlier this year, he told television viewers that cities in Florida looked nothing like Minneapolis or other cities that had struggled with protracted violent outbreaks following the death of George Floyd in police custody last May.

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Florida Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis speaks with U.S. President Donald Trump at a campaign rally at the Pensacola International Airport on November 3, 2018 in Pensacola, Florida. Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images

A Florida man was arrested and charged with multiple felonies last Thursday after intentionally performing a "burnout" with his car over a Pride-themed mural painted on an intersection in Delray Beach, opening him up to become the first person charged under the state's controversial new "anti-riot" bill pushed by Republicans.

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— Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced new legislation to stop violent assemblies and protect law enforcement. The proposed legislation, the “Combatting Violence, Disorder and Looting and Law Enforcement Protection Act,” creates new criminal offenses and increases penalties for those who target law enforcement and participate in violent or disorderly assemblies. “Our right to peacefully assemble is one of our most cherished as Americans, but throughout the country we’ve seen that right being taken advantage of by professional agitators, bent on sowing disorder and causing mayhem in

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the law , which includes civil immunity for people who drive their cars into crowds of protesters . The “Combatting Public Disorder Bill,” or HB1, is the latest attempt to crack down on First Amendment activity in the wake of the nationwide protest movement that was triggered by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Florida’s bill, as with those introduced in 45 states this year, has been widely criticized by civil liberties groups who fear that the law will be used disproportionately to criminalize Black-led protests against police brutality and racial injustice.

Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, signed the bill meant to crack down on protests in the wake of the George Floyd uprisings earlier this year, just as the trial against former Minneapolis police officer Derick Chauvin was wrapping up. The legislation was heavily opposed by first amendment activists and Black lawmakers in the state. Now a young Trump supporter may be the first person entangled by the new law.

Alexander Jerich, 20, is accused of deliberately making skid marks across a mural meant to commemorate the 2016 Pulse Nightclub shooting, in his Chevrolet Silverado. According to WPBF, Delray Beach Police have since charged Jerich with criminal mischief, reckless driving, and evidence of prejudice. Just prior to the incident, Jerich was allegedly participating in a pro-Trump rally in celebration of the former president's birthday that was put together by the Palm Beach County Republican Executive Committee.

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Ron DeSantis (R) said the new law , written following last summer's unrest, is the "strongest anti -rioting Ron DeSantis signed a new anti -riot bill into law on Monday as violent protests threaten to grip the DeSantis signs ‘ anti -mob’ law after Floyd protests ; could take away right to vote. Former President Donald Trump looks on as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis makes remarks during a

Ron DeSantis speaks during a news conference at the Hard Rock Stadium testing site in Miami Gardens, Florida. (CNN) Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday signed into law a controversial bill that aims to crack down on riots and property damage in the face of fierce opposition from Democrats in the state, who argue it will have a chilling effect on peaceful protests . Though Florida Republicans have insisted the legislation is about enhancing safety and preventing violence, Democrats argue that peaceful protesters could be wrongly detained and that the law targets minority communities.

A witness told the police that heard someone holler "tear up that gay intersection" before Jerich shortly defaced the mural with his car. The incident was also caught on video, which allowed the police to identify Jerich, who turned himself in, through a license plate search.

Rand Hoch, founder and president of the Palm Beach Human Rights Council, told WFOR that Jerich carried out "a deliberate act of violence against the LGBTQ community. We've made such progress here in the last 30 years on LGBTQ issues. To see someone do something like this took me by surprise."

"Kudos to the Delray Beach Police Department for swiftly identifying and arresting this hateful criminal," Hoch added.

The city had just unveiled the mural two days before the incident, according to law enforcement, and paid north of $16,000 for its creation.

Jerich could now be subject to heightened penalties imposed by Florida's new GOP-backed "anti-riot" law signed back in April. As WPEC's Sam Kerrigan noted: "When it comes to this case, the key here is that this new anti-riot law also stops someone from damaging historic property or a memorial. And under the law, this new Pride mural in Delray Beach, here, qualifies as a memorial because it's dedicated to the lives lost in the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando."

Hoch, too, suggested that Jerich could be charged under the new GOP measure.

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