DeSantis proposal could allow citizens to shoot, run over suspected rioters

Florida governor proposes controversial changes to 'stand your ground' law
Posted at 6:04 AM, Nov 12, 2020

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Gov. Ron DeSantis is proposing controversial legislation that would expand Florida's "stand your ground" law.

Among the changes would be an addition of justifications for people using force against one another over criminal acts during protests like looting.

It would also make blocking traffic during a protest a third-degree felony. Drivers who say they accidentally killed or injured protesters who block traffic would get immunity.

Critics say it could provoke vigilantism and provide justification for killing people over property crimes.

The governor's draft proposal would also enhance criminal penalties for people involved in assemblies which become violent or disorderly.

Expanding "stand your ground" is part of a draft legislation proposal to lawmakers ahead of the 2021 legislative session.

The governor first spoke about the idea during a news conference in September.

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DeSantis' draft proposal outlines how a driver "who unintentionally causes injury or death to a person who obstructs or interferes" with traffic during unlawful assemblies "is not liable for such injury or death."

Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber, a former federal prosecutor and Democratic state legislator, told the Miami Herald that the draft proposal "sounds like an invitation to incite violence."

No bills have been filed in either the state House or Senate.