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Orange County Leaders Respond to Gov. DeSantis’ Legislation Aimed at “Violent Protests”

Claire Elise holds a painting of George Floyd. Photo: Matthew Peddie, WMFE

DeSantis introduced the legislation called the “Combatting Violence, Disorder and Looting and Law Enforcement Protection Act” in Polk County today.

The legislation would introduce new penalties for “violent protests.”

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings, a former Orlando Police chief, said the county would support law enforcement.

“We certainly are going to support the men and women who are in law enforcement as they have to go out and do their job to ensure the constitutional rights of everyone else.”

But he said he didn’t want the law, if passed, to infringe on local government’s ability to respond to developing civil unrest.

“We have to have the ability to make decisions in the best interests of our citizens real time as we are viewing that.”

The proposed legislation would make it a third degree felony to obstruct roadways or destroy or tackle monuments as part of protests.

The announcement comes during a busy campaign season for President Donald Trump in Florida who has described himself as the “law and order” candidate.

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Danielle Prieur

About Danielle Prieur

Reporter & Fill-in Host

Danielle Prieur is a general assignment reporter at WMFE. You can hear her reporting on a daily basis on the station. She also fills-in as a host during the morning and afternoon drive times. Her reporting has been featured on NPR. Danielle is originally from Rochester Hills, Michigan and is a graduate of both the ... Read Full Bio »