George Floyd

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis Unveils Bill To Stiffen Penalties for Protesters and Punish Towns That Cut Police Budgets

The parts that aren't constitutionally dubious are brainless culture-war fodder.

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Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced legislation Monday to crack down on what he called "violent" protests, but civil liberties groups say it's an obvious attempt to punish protected First Amendment activities.

DeSantis' proposed legislation is called the Combating Violence, Disorder and Looting and Law Enforcement Protection Act. The bill would raise criminal penalties for protest-related offenses, make organizers and other participants liable for violence and/or property destruction that occurs at protests, and block state funding to county and local governments that cut law enforcement budgets, among other provisions.

"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 our cities," DeSantis said at a press conference Monday, flanked by Republican leaders and law enforcement officials. "I will not allow this kind of violence to occur here in Florida."

The proposal is part of a trend of conservative lawmakers introducing bills to further criminalize protests following massive demonstrations and violent unrest this summer over the police killing of George Floyd. Last month, Republican Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed a bill into law making it a felony for protesters to camp on state grounds and criminalize marking government buildings with chalk.

Civil liberties groups in Florida say DeSantis' legislation is an affront to the Constitution. In a statement, Micah Kubic, executive director of the ACLU of Florida, called DeSantis' proposed legislation "undemocratic and hostile to Americans' shared values." 

"This effort has one goal: silence, criminalize, and penalize Floridians who want to see justice for Black lives lost to racialized violence and brutality at the hands of law enforcement," Kubic said.

Specifically, DeSantis' legislation would

  • make it a third-degree felony when seven or more people are in "an assembly and cause damage to property or injury"
  • make it a third-degree felony to obstruct traffic during an unpermitted protest and remove criminal liability for drivers who injure or kill someone "if fleeing to safety from a mob"
  • make it a second-degree felony to destroy property during an unlawful assembly
  • attach RICO liability to "anyone who organizes or funds a violent or disorderly assembly"
  • create a new mandatory minimum six-month sentence for striking a law enforcement officer during a "violent assembly"
  • prohibit state grants or aid "to any local government that slashes the budget for law enforcement services"
  • and hold defendants charged with a crime related to an unlawful assembly without bail until their first court appearance.

The legislative text has not been released yet, so there are no details on how exactly these proposals would be applied. DeSantis told reporters at his press conference that the law would only block funding to local governments that "disproportionately" targeted police budgets.

Carrie Boyd, policy director for Southern Poverty Law Center Action Fund, said in a statement that if DeSantis' legislation passes, "it would put people at risk of going to jail who did nothing wrong." 

"We've already seen police abusing their power to arrest people who protest officer misconduct," Boyd continued. "This type of legislation has no place in Florida and we ask the state attorney office to not prosecute if it does become law."

Florida was largely spared from destructive violence and looting that spread across the country this summer. In fact, local investigative reporting has shown that much of the violence during Florida protests was instigated by police, not protesters.

In Fort Lauderdale, a May 31 clash between police and protesters led to one officer being indicted on battery charges and one protester hospitalized after she was shot in the head with a rubber bullet.

Fort Lauderdale police claimed they were responding to a mob of "violent agitators" that attacked police. However, the Miami Herald reported that "the visual documentation supports what witnesses have been saying for weeks: that a police officer ignited the violent clash that lasted for two hours in the streets of downtown Fort Lauderdale." 

The Herald obtained body camera footage showing officers laughing as they shot protesters with rubber bullets. "Did you see me fuck up those motherfuckers?" one of the officers said, mistakenly under the impression that his body camera was turned off.

The Florida Times-Union reported this week that the Jacksonville State Attorney's Office has dropped the prosecutions of 63 out of 66 arrests made by Jacksonville police during protests over May 30 and 31:

The Sheriff's Office recently released a dozen body-camera videos that show arrests of protesters. The videos show protesters seeming to comply with police — in one case a woman asked which way to walk and then she was arrested for not dispersing; in another case, a woman said she was walking to her car; in another case, a man on the Main Street bridge jumped over a concrete barrier after the crowd had bottlenecked. Each said they were following police orders and asked why they were arrested.

"You need to leave or you're going to jail," an officer says in one video. A woman limping away shouts back at them, "What is the matter with you people?" Officers then arrest her.

Several of DeSantis' proposals, like making demonstrators and organizers liable for the actions of others might not be constitutional, while measures that would yank funding from cities to protect police officers' feelings are simply brainless culture-war fodder.

DeSantis and state Republican leaders said the legislation will be their top priority for the next legislative session.

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  1. The left could, you know, stop being violent.

    1. I quit working at shoprite and now I make $65-85 per/h. How? I’m working online! My work didn’t exactly make me happy so I decided to take a chance on something new…RGf after 4 years it was so hard to quit my day job but now I couldn’t be happier.

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    2. Yes, and so could the cops.

      1. The cops do as they’re trained. Yell at the councilmen, mayors and governors about that.
        Nobody trained the rioters to be thuggish cunts. They’re doing that all on their own.

        1. Councils, mayors, etc. don’t write the cop training manuals. Cops and pro-cop lawyers do.

          1. Nobody is rioting because cops are violent.
            Sorry to burst your bubble.

            1. Nadless Nardless is an EVIL fascist who thinks that it is entitled to declare whose life is worth living, and whose is NOT! IT (Nadless Nardless) will decide FOR you!

              1. Oh, it’s definitely not just me who thinks your life has no value

                1. Evil is made right by enlarging your pack of assholes? How did that work for the NAZIs, Stalin, or your boss, the Evil One? How is it working for you, does evil make you happy?

      2. The classic “I know you are but what am I” political response!

        1. At least you’re telling us which flavor of boot you prefer.

          1. Thus we can assume you prefer marxist totalitarian boots?

            What childish response.

            1. Anyone who does NOT lick the boots of Nadless Nardless, in their face, CLEARLY then MUST prefer marxist totalitarian boots!

      3. The right could, you know, stop lying…

        The vast majority of folks left and right denounce violence. The right has to lie because they know if they told the truth they’d look stupid.

        1. The left denounces violence so much NPR gave a glowing interview to the author of In Defense of Riots.

    3. Counties and cities are political subdivisions of the state, in this case Florida.

      Ciaremella Does not even know the legal or Constitutional (state and U.S.) rules on this topic.

    4. I Make Money At H0me.Let’s start work offered by Google!!Yes,this is definitely the most financially Abr rewarding Job I’ve had . Last Monday I bought a great Lotus Elan after I been earning $9534 this-last/5 weeks and-a little over, $10k last month . . I started this four months/ago and immediately started to bring home minimum $97 per/hr

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  2. The parts that aren’t constitutionally dubious are brainless culture-war fodder.

    But demanding that the police departments be totally defunded is sound, reasoned debate.

    1. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8756911/Defund-police-activist-Alyssa-Milano-sparks-massive-police-presence-calling-911.html

      They don’t really want to defund the police entirely. They just don’t want the police protecting the proles

      1. They also don’t want the proles defending the proles.

          1. You are probably aware that the champion of disparate impact, the Notorious RBG, hired a grand total of one black clerk in her 40 years on the bench.

            Did you happen to catch Sen. Hatch’s line of inquiry regarding this issue during RBG’s confirmation hearing in 1993? At that time, she had hired zero black clerks during her 13 years tenure on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals.

            I have to admit, I got a chuckle out of her response. She said that if she was confirmed, she would do her best to make herself more attractive for black applicants.

            1. It would not surprise me at all if she was racist as hell.

              1. The tell was in the way she jocularly deflected Hatch.

                1 out of 149 or 1619? One is real.

                1. Ginsburg is also the one who said in an interview that the purpose behind legal abortion was ‘to control populations that we don’t want too many of’.

                  1. I quit working at shoprite and now I make $65-85 per/h. How? I’m working online! My work didn’t exactly make me happy so I decided to take a chance on something new…GFr after 4 years it was so hard to quit my day job but now I couldn’t be happier.

                    Here’s what I do…>> Click here

              2. Probably not racist at all, if she insisted on hiring the best applicants and not filling quotas.

              3. RBG was Jewish.

                Africans enslaved Jews.

                The fact that RBG demanded other people and businesses accommodate Blacks but she didnt hire Blacks is very telling.

        1. I said it then, I say it again, private police forces? Bring it the fuck on.

          1. Would we all get vouchers? Police choice?

            1. Go to a common law court. Get the respected community judge to issue a warrant. Take the warrant to the biggest badass bounty hunter out there.

          2. Right wing safety squads? Oy gevalt!

    2. Culture war fodder? Because only conservatives are against destroying small businesses over an offense that happened in some other city and for which the offenders have been arrested and charged and are awaiting trial?

      1. Did we need DeSantis’ bill to arrest the offenders? No? Then you have your answer.

        1. No. We need the bill to punish them enough to deter the behavior and to ensure dickheads like you who become DAs actually do it.

        2. Here’s some friendly advice for you, chemjeff:
          Stay the fuck out of Florida

          1. He can’t afford paying for 2 seats to fly there.

            1. Mean Grrl Score 4/10
              That’s pretty lame

          2. Actually, I rather enjoy Florida.
            So, no, I think I will visit when I please.

            1. Can’t say you weren’t warned

  3. Another principled reason position that nobody believes.

    1. Has Reason endorsed legalize methamphetamine vending machines, Kindergarten codeine cough drops, and consensual pederasty yet? I feel another Libertarian moment in my shorts!

  4. “The parts that aren’t constitutionally dubious are brainless culture-war fodder”

    Suck dick prog.

    1. Your reasoning, facts, and logic are impeccable! Or perhaps more accurately, imbecilic…

      1. In fairness it is no worse than the article and unlike the article at least has the virtues of brevity and honesty.

        1. Don’t answer the idiot properly, John.
          He’s just hunting for an excuse to spam his retard copypasta.

      2. and oddly reminiscent of the Rev. Al’s arguments.

  5. Gee months of looting and violence has produced a pro police law and order backlash. Only people stupid enough to be on the reason staff could be surprised by this.

    1. Nah, MSNBC is also stupid enough to believe this.

    2. This.

      Sow the wind, reap the whirlwind.

      Throw a fit via rioting and looting, and someone will seek to stop that behavior by whatever means they have at their disposal.

      I’m not arguing that the policy is good. No one knows because we haven’t seen it yet. But to act as if this response is some sort of surprise is just plain stupid.

  6. The Sheriff’s Office recently released a dozen body-camera videos that show arrests of protesters. The videos show protesters seeming to comply with police…

    But rest assured this legislation will be applied fairly by the boots on the ground.

    1. Note the weasel word seeming to comply. If the protesters are so innocent, why doesn’t this douche bag say so?

  7. “Last month, Republican Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed a bill into law making it a felony for protesters to camp on state grounds and criminalize marking government buildings with chalk”

    Those evil Republicans think trespass and vandalism should be crimes.

    Go fuck yourselves reason

    1. You are aware that chalk washes away in the rain, right?

      1. So you won’t mind if I write Sarcasmic fucks sheep in chalk on your car house and everything else you own right. It is just chalk so it is okay?

        1. I’m glad you don’t know where I live because I’m sure you would do exactly that if you did. Politics has poisoned your mind.

          I never said it was ok. But it isn’t spray paint.

          1. No I wouldn’t. I am not a vandal or a criminal. Again, according to you, it would be okay if I did.

            1. Fuck you John. I have condoned rioting and property destruction exactly zero times. Not getting worked up about something doesn’t equal believing that that something is ok. So seriously John. Fuck you.

              1. Are chalk swastikas considered hate crimes in your world view?

                1. I’m not a big fan of hate crime legislation. Stinks of double jeopardy.

              2. sarcasmic
                September.22.2020 at 5:00 pm
                Chalk isn’t property destruction.

                Sarcasmic says it down below.

                Chalk is “okay vandalism” because it washes off in the rain.

                Never mind that the property owner has to wash it off by hand or hire someone to do it.

                No Siree. Sarcasmic and unreason are 100% behind property rights.

                1. Scroll down a bit more and you’ll see where I said it’s not ok. Try being honest for once. It is vandalism but not property destruction. Or are you too stupid to see the difference? Don’t answer. It was a rhetorical question with the answer being “Duh!”

                2. Seriously dude, two comments down I said it isn’t ok.

                  You’re just a liar.

                  A blatant, unimaginative liar.

                  1. Oh you poor liar, sarcasmic. You just said it again. Property damage is okay.

                    1. Retarded retard dernt no da diff tween chock n paynt. Durrrrrrrrrrrrrr

              3. Have you condemned it?

                1. Genuflect much?

      2. But the horrible STAINS of the DISRESPECT OF GOVERNMENT ALMIGHTY can NEVER be washed away, without the bloodshed of the disrespectful ones, in the minds of John and fellow right-wing nut jobs!

        The birds who poop on statues of Confederate Generals should be shot and poisoned as well, John?

        1. It being chalk doesn’t make it not vandalism.

          1. All must be punished, as sacrifices to John’s punishment boner, no matter WHAT the costs!!!

            Punish-punish-punish! Personally, I think that punishment should be strictly reserved for only those who cannot otherwise be corrected, and then, “the punishment should fit the crime”. What is needed, and then no more, as far as the severity of the punishment goes. Even criticism is punishment, and it, too, should be carefully rationed.
            What have very varied thinkers through the years said about this?
            “Beware of all those in whom the urge to punish is strong.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
            “Mistrust all those in whom the desire to punish is imperative.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
            “Let he who is without sin, throw the first stone.” – Jesus
            “How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ while there is still a beam in your own eye? You hypocrite! First take the beam out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” – Jesus

            1. Yes. People who destroy property that doesn’t belong to them are criminals. They are called property rights dickhead.

              1. So the person who steals an acorn off of your property, deserves the same punishment as one who steals your car? Do you wonder why sensible folks roll their eyeballs at far-right-wing nut jobs?

              2. Chalk isn’t property destruction.

                1. But it is aggression and a property rights violation.

                  1. True. I never said it was ok.

                    1. Chalk degrades property values and required work or money to be removed. Should Antifa be allowed to draw a Star of David on my business because I support the state of Israel?

                    2. I have a kid who plays with chalk. If the surface can get rained on, the chalk will wash away.

                    3. RabbiHarveyWeinstein is incapable of dealing with simple facts, like chalk washing away in the next rain… NONE are so blind, as those who REFUSE to see!

                      “Do NOT get in the way of my preconceived notions!”

                      The Trumptatorshit will SAVE us all, while killing us all! The nation had to be destroyed, in order to SAVE it!

            2. Sqrls is quoting Jesus?
              I thought he hated him.

              1. Where did you get THAT idea?

                I hate (or more properly, oppose vehemently) self-righteousness and PROUD, unrepentant, blow-hard EVIL, as did Jesus! I oppose ideologically blinded, willful idiots who CAN see, but REFUSE to do so!

                Does THAT sound like anyone YOU know, Mamma?

              2. Jesus was a schmuck and his mother was a whore.

                  1. Behold! This is THE most intelligent post from Nadless the Nardzi NAZI that it has EVER posted!

  8. “Several of DeSantis’ proposals, like making demonstrators and organizers liable for the actions of others might not be constitutional”

    So if I give someone money to bomb a building, I’m not liable for that? Great analysis.
    Judging from the article it sounds like they are upping the level of crime for rioting, and making it so an activist with the title of DA can’t release whoever they want.
    This is also interesting because the article also shows that flordia, at least fort lauterdale, does punish cops that behave poorly

    1. https://reason.com/2016/03/03/protest-donald-trump-now-federal-crime/
      Protesting Donald Trump is Now a Federal Crime
      As is protesting any candidate with Secret Service protection.

      Let the politicians decide, willy-nilly, what kinds of protests will be allowed… WHAT could POSSIBLY go wrong here?

  9. Gotta love how ending riots is constitutionally dubious and culture war fodder, but funding riots and refusing to prosecute rioters isn’t.

    1. By the way, I don’t even think the measures DeSantis is proposing are a good idea. The problem isn’t that the laws aren’t on the books, they are. The problem is that leftist mayors, police chiefs and prosecutors are refusing to enforce them. Unless DeSantis is proposing some kind of punishment or sanction on government officials that refuse to enforce laws, then it won’t make any difference.

    2. Seems I was a bit hasty.

      attach RICO liability to “anyone who organizes or funds a violent or disorderly assembly” and prohibit state grants or aid “to any local government that slashes the budget for law enforcement services” are actually a pretty good step in the right direction. More needs to be done to bring the pain on politicians and bureaucrats that are inflicting pain on regular people.

      The rest of it isn’t that bad in the context of current year, but I don’t think this is the kind of thing we’d like to have on our books if leftists weren’t burning down cities. If that’s the case, then we really shouldn’t let these terrorists win by letting them dictating our laws.

      1. Moonrocks, did you know that Michael Lonsdale, who played the villian Hugo Drax, in Moonraker, died the other day? He was the best Bond villian.

        1. I didn’t know that, actually. Sad to hear.

  10. About time they made it a crime to destroy property and attack police.

    1. Tell that to Portland. They didn’t get that memo.

      1. What is the point of new laws if the current ones aren’t being enforced?

        1. Portland isn’t in Florida.

          1. Next, JesseSPAZ will explain to us, the many-MANY ways in which human nature is DIFFERENT in Portland v/s Florida! Perhaps in Portland, human nature is less fluid, and more concrete?

      2. So why does FL need this law? Seems like they are doing fine will the laws they have. I do like the if your car gets mobbed then you have the right to flee, damn the mob provision. I do question some of the increased punishments for rioting; just want to make sure that an actual peaceful protester doesn’t get a felony charge because they were standing in the vicinity of rioters. I also have an issue with you using RICO. That law is pretty shitty as it is and has already been expanded and used against to corporations for bullshit political purposes.

        Mostly this is seems (won’t know until it is released) like a rushed out bill in response to a perceived emergency. Those types of laws tend to be very terrible for liberty. Like NSA spying was only going to be used against terrorist and you had nothing to fear if your aren’t a terrorist; then the politicians find away to use it to spy on their opponents.

        1. I also have an issue with you using RICO. That law is pretty shitty as it is and has already been expanded and used against to corporations for bullshit political purposes.

          Yeah, using RICO is extremely problematic. Suppose Mom and Dad give Rebel Teenage Son some Uber money to go to a protest. The protest turns ugly and it is declared a “violent protest”. Are Mom and Dad now guilty of “funding a violent protest”?

          1. Yep.
            Try acting responsibly for once in your utterly worthless life.

            1. So now we’re down to “throw the parents of protestors into jail” territory?

            2. Chemjeff does t understand what aiding and abetting is.

              1. NAZIs, as usual, have NO understanding of what a PROFOUND injustice it is, to punish one person for the independent deeds of another!

  11. With the possible exception of the denying bail provision, what is objectionable or unreasonable about the provisions listed?

    Give details.

    1. Think of the denial of bail as ‘bail reform’.

  12. while measures that would yank funding from cities to protect police officers’ feelings are simply brainless culture-war fodder.

    I thought that yanking funding from law enforcement agencies was the #1 Democratic issue in the 2020 election? Or do I need to stop watching CNN?

    1. Abolish The Police is just good policy proscriptions. This racist alt-right notion of not abolishing the police is brainless culture-war fodder.

    2. no, that was free health care for immigrants, regardless of legal status. go back to the first primary debate, they showed hands.

      1. I disagree. I believe they’re memory holing that one.

    3. If they don’t want to fund the police why should the state?

  13. OT:

    Has Reason noted the passing of Prof. Stephen Cohen?

    I was shocked to read that he died the other day.

    1. I didn’t even know he was sick. I heard him fairly recently; he’s been on the radio a lot in recent years, a regular on John Batchelor for one.

  14. * make it a third-degree felony when seven or more people are in “an assembly and cause damage to property or injury”
    these kinds of laws, same as conspiracy laws, always annoy me; if the underlying violation is already a crime, what’s the point?
    * make it a third-degree felony to obstruct traffic during an unpermitted protest and remove criminal liability for drivers who injure or kill someone “if fleeing to safety from a mob”
    No real problem with this except why only during an unpermitted protest? Why not any obstruction without a permit?
    * make it a second-degree felony to destroy property during an unlawful assembly
    Again, are you telling me an unlawful assembly somehow makes property destruction worse?
    * attach RICO liability to “anyone who organizes or funds a violent or disorderly assembly”
    I’m sure it’s already a crime to organize or fund violence. “Disordely assembly” sounds too vague to mean anything constitutional.
    * create a new mandatory minimum six-month sentence for striking a law enforcement officer during a “violent assembly”
    What’s the difference? Isn’t it already illegal? Does the strike itself turn a peaceful assembly into a violent one?
    * prohibit state grants or aid “to any local government that slashes the budget for law enforcement services”
    Now that’s plain stupid. Cities and counties shrink, crime rates drop, do they have to keep the same police force?
    * and hold defendants charged with a crime related to an unlawful assembly without bail until their first court appearance.
    So jaywalk during a peaceful protest and be treated worse than real criminals. Good thinking.

    1. It’s just an excuse to create even more offenses to pile onto someone before coercing them into taking a plea.

  15. Culture war fodder:

    From breaking laws to making laws: ex-pimp at center of new police reforms

    Andrè Taylor is an ex-con who came to Seattle saying he was going to start a war. What he actually did was a remarkable feat of community organizing that just led to changes in the police deadly-force law.

    But the war Andrè Taylor ended up fighting — the one he says he envisioned all along — turned out to be a tour de force of bridge-building and community organizing.

    What the Seattle Times won’t tell you: He’s being paid $12,500 a month…

    Andre Taylor — who appeared in the documentary “American Pimp” about his life as “Gorgeous Dre” — is getting $12,500 per month for a year, along with an office in Seattle’s Municipal Tower, according to the contract published by PubliCola.

    So spare me the ‘culture war fodder’ when marxists, pimps and crackpot marxist activists are being placed at the center of policy making.

    I know it’s fun to make fun of those fuddy-duddy old conservatives… but Jesus fucking Christ, the inmates are running the goddamned asylum on the left while you screech about “both sides”.

  16. and block state funding to county and local governments that cut law enforcement budgets

    Surely there are existing laws against vandalism, looting, arson, rioting, etc. I’ll bet they also come with pretty stiff penalties already. So, the above provision is probably the main impetus of the bill. Police unions are a very powerful lobby.

    1. Cities that defund their police department are willfully failing to protect their citizens and violating their citizens’ civil rights. The state has a duty not to allow dickheads like the mayors in Portland and Minneapolis to let leftist mobs terrorize and burn and loot their cities.

      1. Cops aren’t the problem. The problem is laws that create victimless crimes. That turns cops into the enemy. If the laws they enforced were just, and if they actually investigated crimes where there is a victim instead of looking for an excuse to arrest the person who asked for help, then maybe it would be a respectable profession. But it isn’t. Unfortunately neither the mob nor the government understands this.

        1. Exactly

        2. None of that has anything to do with the need to stop leftist mobs from burning down cities. Stop trying to excuse it by changing the subject.

          The country isn’t going to allow your heroes in Antifa to continue to burn loot and murder. Just accept that and move on

          1. I was replying to what you said about defunding police. The problem isn’t law enforcement. The problem is the law.

            As far as the rest of your emotion-filled diatribe, fuck the fuck off John. I never condoned violence and property destruction. So seriously, take a sedative or die in a fire. I don’t care which at this point. I used to respect you, but now you’re just another right wing piece of shit like that idiot from Georgia.

            1. Sarcasmic is fine with property damage. That is why he is using “property destruction”.

        3. Cops aren’t the problem.

          They’re definitely a problem.

        4. That’s a problem, yes.
          People responding like bigoted zombies is another.

          1. Also excusing and encouraging people to behave with the emotional maturity of a 2 year old is a big problem.

      2. Cities that defund their police department are willfully failing to protect their citizens and violating their citizens’ civil rights.

        So what’s the limit? Are they allowed to ever cut budgets? Is defunding government schools a violation of civil rights? I’m sure you’ll find a large number of people who would claim that. Besides, the supreme court has ruled multiple times that you have no individual right to police protection, despite your obligation to pay taxes for police departments.

        1. Depends on the circumstances. It is driven by the facts. Just because they can spend less in some cases is not the same as eliminating their police departments or rendering them effectively eliminated. And you know it.

    2. That is exactly what it is. The Guaranteed Employment for Cops Act

  17. make it a third-degree felony when seven or more people are in “an assembly and cause damage to property or injury”

    Squads of six it is, then.

    1. You’re welcome to come down here and try it, juice.
      It won’t end well for you.

  18. stiffened penalties for protesters, or arsonists?

  19. Know who else used civil unrest as an excuse to increase penalties and create new crimes?

    1. King George III?

    2. He isnt using civil unrest. He is using violence and rioting. This wouldn’t be happening if peaceful dummy.

      1. Civil unrest isn’t peaceful. But you knew that.

  20. So “violent” gets scare quotes now? Are arson, looting, assault, murder, destruction of property, shutting down critical infrastructure and making terroristic threats not in fact “violent”????

  21. Fvck off, CJ. I think it is exercising your right to self-defense to drive thru a mob of violent goons who block the road and surround your vehicle

    1. definitely a free expression issue.

  22. I love this. I’m loving Florida more and more. Property-destroying thugs do belong in jail. And innocent passersby who get ganged up on by violent mobs should be empowered to forcefully flee or ram through these bastards.

    Only part I disagree with is the one that punishes localities for cutting police funding. Aside from that, I hope red states follow through.

    1. The problem is being overly harsh when it comes to property destruction that results in a felony record. If Protestor Bob chalks a sidewalk, should that really earn him a felony conviction?

      It is tempting to think of a “violent protest” as a bunch of organized protestors all intending to cause harm and destroy property, but often times, a “violent protest” is composed of a large number of genuinely peaceful protestors, when a bunch of assholes throwing bricks showed up and then the police declared it an “unlawful assembly”. Should the genuinely peaceful ones be treated as felons because of the actions of the assholes with bricks?

      1. Dude! According to the right wingers there are no protesters! They’re all rioters organized by Antifa and they want to overthrow the government! Every! Single! One! They should be shot on sight!

        1. No, according to the right wingers whose businesses were burned to the ground, or friends shot in the head, or grandparents were pulled from their vehicles and beaten, there is a dangerous element wandering some of American city streets and the refusal to arrest, let alone prosecute creates a very dangerous tinderbox that creates a situation where people begin to take justice into their own hands– when being left with no choice.

          But I get it…

          1. But peaceful protesters are just creating conditions necessary for violent assholes to be violent assholes and then giving them cover.
            We can’t hold people responsible for their own actions!

        2. Aiding and abetting violent rioters.

          Unpeaceful assembly is NOT covered by the 1st amendment.

      2. Because these riots are just simply chalk.

        Why are you and sarcasmic so fucking dishonest?

  23. So should prosecutorial discretion be a thing, or not?

    The way things work now, at least in theory, is that local elections keep the local DA honest in terms of the discretion that he/she chooses to exercise. So if the Portland DA exercises prosecutorial discretion and does not charge any protestors with crimes, and the local Portlanders approve of this level of discretion and re-elect the DA, then that is the current system working as intended. It does mean that certain scofflaws will go free, but that is the price that the local population chooses to pay in order to have a law enforcement regime that is at least broadly compatible with what the local population wants.

    The solution to the problem of a DA exercising too much prosecutorial discretion, at least according to how the system works now, is to run your own candidate for DA promising a different approach.

    But if the problem is that the DA gets to exhibit prosecutorial discretion at all, then what is the proposed solution?

    1. If laws were just, didn’t overlap, and punishments fit the crimes, then there would be no need for such discretion.

      1. It is so unjust to punish vandalism and rioting. I know. People should be able to deface anyone else’s property. It is just unfair.

        Fuck you asshole.

        1. When did I say that?

          1. “sarcasmic
            September.22.2020 at 6:04 pm
            When did I say that?”

            When you responded in the context of vandalism and rioting.

            1. You openly support murder for political gain.

          2. tacit approval is a thing. You’ve been in many of these threads and never condemned rioting.

            You’ve gone full jeff. No wonder you guys are dating now.

            1. So a lack of open condemnation equals approval? Guilty until proven innocent much?

              He hasn’t run up and down the streets screaming against the rioters! He’s a witch! Aaaaauuuggh!

        2. When did I say that, John?

          Put up or shut up you dishonest, partisan, lying piece of garbage.

          You are a sack of shit, spreading lies about people.

          You’ve passed the point of no return. I do hope we meet someday, so I can spit in your beer.

          1. You probably won’t get an answer from John. After all, Tucker Carlson’s on.

          2. Poor sarcasmic got caught being okay with property damage as long as its not property destruction.

            Since no edit button, he cant get out of it.

    2. Discretion is great until you have prosecutors who abuse it and refuse to enforce the law. That is what is happening all over the country and it needs to be stopped. Victims of clarinets have rights as well. Just because assholes like you only give a shit about the rights of leftist assholes to terrorize the public does not mean the rest of society has to sit back and take it.

      1. Who decides if prosecutorial discretion is being abused? Under the current system, it’s the voters in the particular jurisdiction who decide when the DA is up for election. Isn’t that how it’s supposed to work? If you disagree, then please tell us how you think it ought to work.

        1. I’m no lawyer, but I’m guessing that discretion can become so out of whack that the DA can be sanctioned– possibly by a federal court or jurisdiction (especially if the local government won’t act). If bodies were to be piling up from a roving pack of murderers, and the Portland DA used his ‘discretion’ and refused to prosecute anyone arrested for said murders, I’m guessing there are ‘arrows in the quiver’ to deal with such a situation.

        2. Voters didn’t have a big problem with DA’s in the South not prosecuting lynchers. I guess the Feds overstepped their bounds stopping that…

          1. Did they?

      2. Discretion is great until you have prosecutors who abuse it and refuse to enforce the law. That is what is happening all over the country and it needs to be stopped.

        Like this, John?

        https://thetexan.news/four-more-texas-counties-pass-second-amendment-sanctuary-resolutions/

        1. That’s a perfect example of what is likely a DC refusing to prosecute victimless crimes. Oh, and…*clears throat*

          Mace believes the decision not to enforce the law would be covered by the fact that New Mexico is an “officer discretionary state,” where it falls to a law-enforcement officer’s discretion to decide what to charge an individual with. (For example, in drug cases, an officer decides whether an individual is charged with possession or drug trafficking.)

          “As the sheriff, if I see problems with these particular pieces of legislation and they become law, I don’t have to use that law,” Mace says.

          New Mexico’s government has repeatedly reaffirmed that sheriffs cannot cherry pick which state laws they choose to enforce. It’s a set-up for a near-certain constitutional challenge, one that Washington state’s attorney general, Bob Ferguson, has already waded into, warning sheriffs in a February open letter that they could become legally liable should they refuse to uphold that state’s new initiative to raise the minimum age to buy semiautomatic assault weapons from 18 to 21.

        2. Utilizing the 2a is the same as defacing someones property? Full retard?

          1. You are not smart enough to understand the conversation. Go back to your Trump coloring books.

    3. DA discretion is definitely a thing, but it has to be balanced. It’s perfectly reasonable for a DA to apply discretion on a case-by-case basis where say, in the case of a victimless crime, we may see a situation where prosecution of the charged may not serve justice in any meaningful way. But when we have what are absolutely crimes with victims, a blanket refusal to prosecute clear-cut cases of violence and mayhem is failing to serve justice for the victims.

      As for the local Portlanders implicitly approving of the DAs actions, I don’t really have an answer beyond that yes, at some point, people deserve the leadership they get. And given what we’re seeing with Portland, it appears they deserve everything they get, good and hard.

      1. The more I think about it, I’m thinking that the libertarian solution to the problems associated with prosecutorial discretion is a type of citizen’s grand jury. Let citizens go around the DA and initiate a type of investigative/prosecutorial proceeding, supervised by a judge. This idea takes power away from centralized authorities (generally a good thing), puts a limit other than elections as to how much a DA can exercise discretion (also generally a good thing), gives a minority group power against a potentially oppressive majority (generally a good thing). There would need to be some safeguards to prevent the process from either being hopelessly weak and worthless, or horribly abused. Also some safeguards to make sure that it is not just vigilante justice dressed up in fancy suits and a court room. But I think that is the basic idea. So if the 5 Republicans living in Portland want to utilize a “citizen’s grand jury” to bring to justice the people that the DA is refusing to prosecute, they would have the ability to do so. They’d have to hire their own lawyers to do it, which is not terribly fair, but it is better than today, where they can’t pursue justice against the scofflaws regardless of the cost. Anyway just an idea.

    4. Chemjeff with the KKK legal talking points…

  24. Laugh riot. Listen to this call with the Minneapolis city council who voted to defund the police whinge about lack of policing while violent crime is on the rise.

    https://youtu.be/JjUC-_nAftY

  25. I for one cannot wait until Trump is reelected because of Lefty violence and property crimes.

    Every unreason article, I will post a laugh just for unreason staff.

  26. Serious question, and I asked it above, why should the state fund police departments if the city/county votes to defund them?

    1. Because not ALL people in those cities agree with the lunacy of the majority and that minority does have a right to live a life.

      1. But if they don’t like it shouldn’t the take it up with their council? The city shouldn’t expect the state to fund the police while at the same time cutting funding to the police. It isn’t the state’s job to fund local projects the city doesn’t want to fund.

  27. I actually read this until I saw SPLC quoted. I’m out.

    1. Did you see sarcasmic say property damage was okay?

      unreason has just the morals of shitbags and is doubling down that trespassing, property damage, and violence is okay because Trump bad.

  28. If someone loots charge them with theft. If they vandalize something charge them with vandalism or criminal mischief. If someone starts a fire charge them with arson. You’d think people who claim to be libertarians would see the problem with trying to politicize the legal process, but I guess not. Adding sedition charges to crimes because you disagree with the criminals ideology is pretty authoritarian. I shouldn’t be surprised. Many libertarians love Pinchot. I guess they don’t care about civil liberties as long as it’s people they disagree with being abused. If conservatives had brains they wouldn’t be conservatives. Hail Satan. Send all the mormons to the gas chambers!

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  31. Grady does his slick little dog and pony, tough on crime marketing show and a lot of people watching nod their heads in Pavlovian response agreement without even looking into the Santis legislation that he’s talking about which of course is left out of the video. Grady gives a pathetic nod to what he considers free speech which is “to speak openly and freely to address our government”. What does that even mean? It’s a very narrow and ambiguous definition of protest. “Speaking freely” is the extent of his views on what he defines as acceptable. That should be setting off red flags to every American.
    The language in the legislation basically lets law enforcement define what is orderly and what is not orderly behavior which is a very dangerous path to go down. Here are things that have been called disorderly many times before: walking in the street, standing on a sidewalk, not having a permit, not immediately following an officer’s demand no matter how ludicrous or unconstitutional, chanting a slogan that someone might find offensive. They are the exact types of things that are clamped down on in authoritarian regimes and are antithetical to America. It’s amazing how many sheep are so quick to support policies that are similarly found in the dictatorships around the world. The legislation gives too much latitude to what the police could consider not a peaceful protest and it then assigns draconian punishments to people whose lives would be ruined because they came out to peacefully protest but violated one of the nebulous rules of what speaking freely means.
    There are plenty of laws currently on the books against rioting, looting and property destruction. Sure Grady, get out there and enforce those laws. Nothing is stopping him now from doing his job and going after people that violate those laws. Have the legislators of Florida been so incompetent in setting laws over the past hundred years that their laws about rioting, looting and property destruction don’t exist or are meaningless and weak? That’s not the case.
    Instead of applying existing laws, DeSantis, Grady want loosey-goosey laws that law enforcement can interpret as they like which would upend the Constitution/Bill of Rights by doing things like denying people bail who have been charged and not convicted, by using organized crime federal racketeering statutes like RICO to go after protesters for non-federal offenses, by mandating protesters be fired from their jobs or blocked from employment, by denying public benefits to protesters, by re-categorizing small misdemeanors as felonies, by charging people differently because of where they live. Each of those is in the legislation and is not just government over-reach but a further slide toward the types of governments that used gulags, concentration camps and dungeons that weren’t that long ago. Draconian legislation attempts during a current crisis are almost always going to result in bad legislation. Legislation that takes away long fought freedoms that make America great is always bad legislation.
    Get out there and be tough on crime Grady and get those rioters, looters and property destroyers, but stay the hell away our freedom and liberty.

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