Florida Bans 'Picketing and Protesting' Outside Homes

Ban takes effect Oct. 1
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 17, 2022 1:59 AM CDT
'Picketing and Protesting' Outside Homes Will Be Banned in Florida
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis answers questions during a press conference at Seminole State College in Sanford, Monday, May 16, 2022.   (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel via AP)

Think you might stage a demonstration outside someone's private residence in Florida later this year? Think again. The state's governor on Monday signed a bill that will ban "picketing and protesting" outside a home when it takes effect Oct. 1, CBS News reports. “Sending unruly mobs to private residences, like we have seen with the angry crowds in front of the homes of Supreme Court justices, is inappropriate,” said Gov. Ron DeSantis in a statement, referring to the protests that have taken place over the high court's apparent plan to overturn Roe v. Wade. “This bill will provide protection to those living in residential communities and I am glad to sign it into law."

ClickOrlando reports that lawmakers started working on the bill in the wake of protests over George Floyd's death at the hands of police in 2020, when protesters gathered to demonstrate outside a Windermere vacation home owned by the officer convicted in Floyd's death. Police at the time did not have the legal right to disperse demonstrators in a residential neighborhood. When the new law takes effect, law enforcement authorities will give protesters a warning, and will only arrest anyone who does not peacefully disperse, DeSantis says. Violation of the law is a second-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 60 days behind bars and a fine as high as $500. (Read more Florida stories.)

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