ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — A federal judge is considering claims that a new Florida law designed to deter violent public demonstrations is instead unconstitutionally chilling free speech and legitimate rights to protest. Attorneys for several organizations challenging the law championed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis asked U.S. District Judge Mark Walker in a hearing Monday to block enforcement of key parts of the law. DeSantis signed the so-called anti-riot bill into law in April. He had urged the state Legislature to pass a measure to enhance penalties against violent protesters after last year’s tumultuous demonstrations over the treatment of Black people by police.
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