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DeSantis Proposes Legislation That Would Withhold Funding From Cities That ‘Defund The Police’

Gov. Ron DeSantis holds a round table discussion in Jacksonvillle, Tuesday September 1st, 2020. Screenshot: The Florida Channel

In keeping with President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign’s focus on being the “party of law and order,” Gov. Ron DeSantis is proposing legislation that stiffens penalties for violence at protests.

Dubbed the “Combating Violence, Disorder and Looting and Law Enforcement Protection Act,” the measure would create a 6-month mandatory minimum jail sentence for anyone who strikes an officer.

It also makes it a felony to obstruct a roadway or deface monuments as part of a “violent or disorderly assembly.

Going a step further, the proposal also withholds state funding and grants from local governments that attempt to slash law enforcement budgets. DeSantis debuted the legislation alongside local law enforcement in Polk County.

“I think we need to do more in terms of having a strong legislative response, so that we do not always have to play “whack a mole” any time you have situations like this develop. So, I’m proud today to be able to announce what will be a focal point of the next legislative session.”

The proposed measure also received some immediate Republican backing. DeSantis was also joined at the press event by incoming Senate president, Wilton Simpson, who said he’s, “looking forward to making sure this becomes law.”

Meanwhile organizations like the ACLU of Florida are sounding off, its director writing in a statement the measure would: “silence, criminalize, and penalize Floridians who want to see justice for Black lives lost to racialized violence”

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