CNN Brings on ACLU to Condemn DeSantis’s ‘Dangerous’ Anti-Riot Bill


The same CNN who praised a “mostly peaceful” George Floyd riot last Summer as a building burned behind their reporter on the scene, revealed their continued commitment to protecting left-wing rioters again on Tuesday. After Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed an anti-rioting bill into law yesterday, the network brought on an ACLU lawyer to criticize the bill as “dangerous” and unconstitutional.

New Day co-host Brianna Keilar teased the segment with this smear: “Backlash over Florida’s brand-new law cracking down on protests. Could it be used to target minorities?” she asked the loaded question.

That race-baiting language disappeared once it came to the actual segment, a half hour later. But still CNN anchor sounded the alarm: “Florida’s Republican Governor Ron DeSantis touting a controversial law in his state that gives police more power to crack down on protests.”

Turning to her liberal guest, Keilar asked her to explain why this anti-riot legislation was “dangerous:”

You call this legislation dangerous. What about it is dangerous in your view?” she posed to Kara Gross, legislative director and senior policy counsel for Florida’s ACLU.

Gross blasted the bill as a “dangerous” anti-First Amendment legislation “intended to silence dissent and criminalize peaceful protesters exercising their First Amendment rights to free speech and assembly.”

To her credit, Keilar did follow this up by pressing her guests on why Floridians might support the bill:

…You’ve seen images of businesses, of properties looted and destroyed. There are owners of those properties that may be for this legislation. They say that their rights and their property also need to be considered. They need to be protected as well. What do you say to them? 

However, that was the only pushback question in the entire interview. There were no other guests in this segment or the rest of the two hour show to give a counterargument to Gross’s claims. 

Her guest did not really address Keilar’s question, other than to say there were already laws in Florida against rioting. She again claimed this bill “criminalized” the First Amendment and was intended to harm “peaceful” George Floyd protesters: 

“This bill was the governor’s number one priority this session, and it was in direct response to the peaceful protests in Florida last summer in the wake of George Floyd’s murder,” she argued.

Keilar only encouraged Gross’s claims, asking next, “What part of this bill is particularly alarming to you?” She then let Gross continue putting forward her argument for the remainder of the interview without further comment.

For the last year, CNN has repeatedly defended Antifa and Black Lives Matter mob violence. Whether it was denying reality like mentioned above, or defending violence as patriotic, the craven media network is more concerned about advancing a radically left agenda than protecting public safety.

CNN protecting rioters was paid for by Consumer Cellular. Contact them at the Conservatives fight back page here.

Read the transcript below:

CNN

New Day

4/20/2021

BRIANNA KEILAR: Florida’s Republican governor Ron Desantis touting a controversial law in his state that gives police more power to crack down on protests. DeSantis framed the legislation as pro law enforcement, making violent and disorderly protests illegal in the state, and it also makes it more difficult for local governments to cut funding for law enforcement and it bars those arrested for rioting from posting bail until their first court appearance. Joining me is Kara Gross, she is the legislative director and senior policy counsel of the ACLU of Florida. Kara, thank you for being with us. You call this legislation dangerous. What about it is dangerous in your view? 

ACLU’S KARA GROSS: Hi. Thank you so much. This bill is incredibly dangerous. Hb-1 signed into law yesterday by Governor DeSantis is intended to silence dissent and criminalize peaceful protesters exercising their First Amendment rights to free speech and assembly. 

KEILAR: You have seen images. You know what folks who are for this bill will say. You’ve seen images of businesses, of properties looted and destroyed. There are owners of those properties that may be for this legislation. They say that their rights and their property also need to be considered. They need to be protected as well. What do you say to them? 

GROSS:  This bill was the governor’s number one priority this session, and it was in direct response to the peaceful protests in Florida last summer in the wake of George Floyd’s murder. This bill is not about public safety. This bill is not about protecting the public. This bill is not about violent protests. We already have laws in Florida on the books that protect against rioting and laws on the books that protect against violence and property damage and theft and battery and assault. What this bill does, is it criminalizes peaceful protesters who are merely exercising their First Amendment right to protest. 

KEILAR: What part of this bill is particularly alarming to you? 

GROSS: So there are several parts of this bill that are incredibly unconstitutional and dangerous to Floridians. One of the most egregious parts of this bill is that it actually emboldens violence against peaceful protesters. This bill would make anyone who is a counter protester or vigilante who engages in violence by killing or injuring a protester, it will shield them from civil liability if they do that under this bill. 

KEILAR: Polk County Florida sheriff — I’m sorry, go on. 

GROSS:  This bill is so broad and so vague in its language that it will result in the arrest of individuals who haven’t engaged in any violent conduct whatsoever. Under this bill — third degree felony and up to five years in prison if you engage in riotous conduct. This expands the definition of riot to include nonviolent conduct. So under this bill, if you participate in a protest that turns violent through no fault of your own, you could be arrested and charged with committing a riot which is five years in prison and a loss of voting rights. Even if you didn’t engage in any violent or disorderly conduct. And under this bill, if there are 25 people participating in that protest, it could be a second-degree felony and up to 15 years in prison, even if you didn’t engage in any violent activity. And that is what is so problematic with this bill. And that is why it chills speech and silences dissent and is an affront  to our democracy and our First Amendment rights.

KEILAR: Look this isn’t the end to this bill, there will be challenges. Thanks for being with us.

 



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