Partial Palmetto Shutdown Shows ‘Double Standard’ In Florida’s Anti-Riot Law, Says Sen. Shevrin Jones

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — There is caller contention implicit Florida’s anti-riot bill, HB 1. In April, Governor Ron DeSantis signed the measure into law, officially titled Combatting Public Disorder.

“It is the strongest, anti-rioting, pro instrumentality enforcement portion of authorities successful the country,” DeSantis said successful April. “And determination is conscionable thing adjacent close.”

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The measure came successful effect to the Black Lives Matter protests crossed the state successful 2020, enhancing penalties for convulsive protests and giving greater authorization for constabulary to find what is and what is not considered a riot.

“We besides person penalties for radical who commandeer highways which we saw successful different parts of the country,” helium noted. “Just deliberation astir it, you’re driving location from enactment and each of a sudden, you person radical retired determination shutting down a highway. If they commencement to bash that determination needs to beryllium swift penalties and that’s thing that conscionable cannot happen.”

And yet that is precisely what happened successful Miami connected Tuesday, arsenic hundreds of protesters unopen down the Palmetto for much than 8 hours. And it was DeSantis’s ain Florida Highway Patrol that allowed it to happen.

“I’m really blessed that they are not enforcing HB1,” said State Senator Shrevrin Jones, a Democrat from Miami, who opposed HB1 erstwhile it was debated successful Tallahassee earlier this year. He said the measure was not needed and appeared to beryllium an effort to unopen down protests that the Governor mightiness not like. Even worse, Jones and others feared the instrumentality would beryllium utilized astir exclusively against Blacks who protestation radical injustice.

Even earlier the measure was passed, Jones recalled that erstwhile Black Lives Matter protesters past summertime tried to get onto a road they were blocked and arrested.

“That’s not what happened yesterday,” Jones said. “And truthful present what we are seeing, I repeat, is simply a treble modular of what HB1 was expected to prevent. And the unfortunate portion is that it seems this HB1 is for Black folks, period, due to the fact that that’s the treble modular that we’re seeing close now.”

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Republican State Representative Daniel Perez, who pushed for transition of HB1, said helium does not judge the protesters connected the Palmetto specifically violated the law.

“This wasn’t the anti-peaceful protestation law. It was the anti-rioting law,” helium said.

Nevertheless, Perez said the protesters did interruption different laws against blocking traffic.

“The radical that were that were blocking disconnected the Palmetto should not person been blocking disconnected the Palmetto,” helium said. “I get it. It was peaceful. And I recognize it’s passionate, but they should not person done that. I asked them to not bash that moving guardant and to proceed to peacefully protestation successful a mode that doesn’t obstruct traffic.”

Perez said the constabulary should person stepped successful and cleared the roadworthy immediately.

“There should not person been 1 infinitesimal of obstruction of traffic,” helium said. “As soon arsenic there’s obstruction of traffic, determination should beryllium different instrumentality enforcement. Even if it is for a escaped Cuba. If it is for BLM, if it is for rainbows and butterflies, doesn’t matter, determination should not beryllium obstruction, obstruction of postulation connected the Palmetto.”

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The Florida Highway Patrol released a connection Wednesday saying FHP is committed to information and says radical blocking highways endanger themselves, the nationalist and archetypal responders. FHP besides said they enactment with different instrumentality enforcement agencies to safely wide roadways but did not accidental wherefore it took much than 8 hours to wide the Palmetto Expressway connected Tuesday night.

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