On Tuesday, the Miami Herald reported that the new proposed "anti-mob" legislation from Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) would make it legal to shoot people who are suspected to be looting or involved in "criminal mischief" that poses a threat to a business.
"The proposal would expand the list of 'forcible felonies' under Florida’s self-defense law to justify the use of force against people who engage in criminal mischief that results in the 'interruption or impairment' of a business, and looting, which the draft defines as a burglary within 500 feet of a 'violent or disorderly assembly,'" reported Ana Ceballos and David Ovalle.
The provision would be a significant expansion of Florida's already-controversial "stand your ground" law, which removes the duty to retreat from those exercising deadly force against an attacker, if they have a general legal right to be in the place where they are being attacked.
"Lawyers say it’s just one of the many troubling aspects of the draft bill being pushed by the Republican governor in response to police-brutality protests that erupted across Florida and the United States this summer," said the report. "'It allows for vigilantes to justify their actions,' said Denise Georges, a former Miami-Dade County prosecutor who had handled Stand Your Ground cases. '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.'"
DeSantis' draft legislation also increases criminal penalties for merely being involved in an assembly determined "violent or disorderly," legally protects drivers who run over protesters if they were blocking traffic, and bans county and municipal governments from reducing the budget of their police departments for any reason.
A firm ally of lame-duck President Donald Trump, DeSantis began pushing for these restrictions following the nationwide protests against police brutality this year, including the suffocation death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and the permanent incapacitation of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.