Fact Check: Florida Governor Did NOT Sign A 'Run Em Over' Law

Fact Check

  • by: Alan Duke
Fact Check: Florida Governor Did NOT Sign A 'Run Em Over' Law  Proposal Only

Did Florida's governor sign into law a 'Run Em Over" law that protects drivers who run over protesters if the drivers are fleeing for safety from a mob? No, that's not true: Gov. Ron DeSantis did propose such legislation on September 21, 2020, but it has not been considered by Florida's legislature, which would have to pass it before the governor can sign it.

The claim appeared as a meme in from a post (archived here) shared on Facebook on September 23, 2020. The meme featured a screenshot of what DeSantis tweeted on September 21, 2020, along with the text:

FLORIDA SIGNS "RUN EM OVER" LAW
LOL I LOVE MY STATE

This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:

Facebook screenshot

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Thu Sep 24 23:19:56 2020 UTC)

This is the meme:

image (36).png

Gov. DeSantis announced his proposal -- titled COMBATTING VIOLENCE, DISORDER and LOOTING and LAW ENFORCEMENT PROTECTION ACT -- with a tweet on September 21, 2020:

Today I announced bold legislation that creates new criminal offenses and increases penalties for those who target law enforcement and participate in violent or disorderly assemblies. We will always stand with our men and women in uniform who keep our communities safe.

This is the description of the proposal:

image (37).png

While this may someday be law -- just as Florida's infamous "Stand Your Ground" law -- it is not currently the law and drivers should know they may have legal liability if they run over anyone while trying to flee a mob.

As an example of how some commenters are receiving the word they could run over protesters without legal problems, one of them shared this meme:

image (39).png

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  Alan Duke

Editor-in-Chief Alan Duke co-founded Lead Stories after ending a 26-year career with CNN, where he mainly covered entertainment, current affairs and politics. Duke closely covered domestic terrorism cases for CNN, including the Oklahoma City federal building bombing, the UNABOMBER and search for Southeast bomber Eric Robert Rudolph. CNN moved Duke to Los Angeles in 2009 to cover the entertainment beat. Duke also co-hosted a daily podcast with former HLN host Nancy Grace, "Crime Stories with Nancy Grace" and hosted the podcast series "Stan Lee's World: His Real Life Battle with Heroes & Villains." You'll also see Duke in many news documentaries, including on the Reelz channel, CNN and HLN.

Read more about or contact Alan Duke

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