ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A social justice group has filed a lawsuit against Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and others two days after the Republican signed a bill to create tougher penalties for people who participate in violent protests.
The nonprofit group Legacy Entertainment & Arts Foundation filed the lawsuit Wednesday in Orlando federal court, according to court records. It argues the new law violates First Amendment protections for free speech, Eighth Amendment protections against cruel and unusual punishment and 14th Amendment protections of due process.
“The breathtaking scope of the Bill includes granting civil immunity to people who drive into peaceful demonstrators if such demonstration blocks a road, prevents people accused of ‘rioting’ from bailing out of jail until after their first court appearance, increases penalties for assaulting law enforcement officers while engaging in a ‘riot,’ penalizing local governments that interfere with efforts to stop a 'riot,' and allows law enforcement agencies that face funding reductions to file objections,” the complaint stated.