Hate crime bill proposed after anti-semetic message displayed at Florida Georgia game

Published: Jan. 27, 2023 at 5:52 PM EST
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCJB) - A proposed bill from the state capitol defines certain anti-semetic acts as hate crimes and increases criminal penalties.

Under the proposed bill, any person who distributes pamphlets or flyers with hateful anti-semetic imagery or messages, any person who defaces or damages religious property, or any person who projects images onto another person’s property without permission could be charged with a third-degree felony.

The legislation comes after an anti-semetic message was projected onto a video board during a Florida-Georgia college football game in Jacksonville, as well as reports of other anti-semetic imagery appearing throughout Florida on buildings, interstates, and pamphlets.

RELATED: UF condemns antisemitic messages displayed at Florida-Georgia game

State Rep. Randy Fine, who is Jewish, says that hate speech and hate crimes have made many in the state feel unsafe.

“I will not stand here and do nothing. I will not be complacent, and I will not sit around,” Fine says. “For with that attitude, are we just going to wait for these haters to start breaking the glass windows and storefronts of Jewish store owners again, like they did in the past, before we wake up?”

If passed, the legislation would be the first of its kind in the country.

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