Republicans respond to Black Lives Matter with anti-protest bills

New legislation gives law enforcement officers broad latitude in declaring a gathering a "riot" and thus charge participants with a felony crime.

By

National News

April 21, 2021 - 9:32 AM

Demonstrators march during a George Floyd protest in downtown Miami, Florida, on Saturday, May 30, 2020. Photo by (Al Diaz/Miami Herald/TNS)

Genee Tinsley helped organize rallies and marches in Palm Beach County, Florida, last summer to protest police brutality, demand racial justice and call for redirecting some police funding to social services.

Now she’s organizing an online forum to teach people about a Florida bill that would increase penalties for unlawful activity during a protest. The bill could give law enforcement broad discretion to declare a gathering a “riot” and charge participants with a felony crime.

The bill also would make it harder for cities to cut police funding and prevent protesters from suing for damages if they’re injured by a counterprotester.

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