Florida Democrats warn against Gov. DeSantis' anti-riot legislation

Florida Democrats are sounding off about an anti-riot legislation Governor Ron DeSantis is backing.

"Let’s not confuse or conflate the peaceful marches that we saw throughout the summer highlighting inequitable social and criminal justice applications around this country with the violent insurrection and treason that occurred last week," Florida Senate member Gary Farmer said.

Gov. DeSantis announced in September he would seek legislation that would punish violent protesters following the death of George Floyd. That legislation, House Bill 1, and its companion, Senate Bill 484, were filed last week.

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Gov. DeSantis is doubling down in the wake of the riots at the Capitol in DC last week.

"I, 100 percent, support people’s right to be able to get together, protest and say what’s on their mind," Gov. DeSantis said. "The minute that crosses over, I think there needs to be penalties."

On a zoom call Monday, several Democrats called the legislation unfair.

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"We know that this bill would be absolutely deadly to our communities," Representative Bobby DuBose said. "We know from lifetimes of experiences who this will harm: communities of color, black and brown Floridians. This is calculated political opportunism."

They’re working together as the next legislative session begins to put a stop to it.

"Our caucuses’ intent is to fight and push back and fight against this bill at every turn but we would encourage citizens that are listening, if you feel similar to the way we do, let us hear your voices," Florida Representative Fentrice Driskell said. "Reach out to your state reps and your senators and let us know how you feel about this bill. Let the Governor’s Office know how you feel about this bill."

Tune in to FOX 35 Orlando for the latest Central Florida news.