FDLE ‘increasing presence’ in face of harassment against Jewish communities
Mark Glass

Mark Glass ART
Antisemitic provocations are expected on the so-called 'National Day of Hate.'

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is stepping up its presence Saturday, amid fears that a “National Day of Hate” could drive more anti-semitic displays in the state.

On Friday afternoon, the FDLE issued a bulletin contending that it and its “law enforcement partners (would be) increasing presence in response to recent harassment against Jewish Community.”

“FDLE and our law enforcement partners across Florida are on full alert to ensure our communities are protected. FDLE will use the full weight of Florida law to ensure the safety of our Jewish and all faith-based communities against these hate groups,” the bulletin contends.

“In response to the recent harassment against Florida’s Jewish and faith-based communities by hate groups, and seeing coordinated efforts from a ‘National Day of Hate,’ the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) and Florida’s Fusion Center has distributed a statewide bulletin and is actively coordinating and increasing law enforcement presence to ensure any individual or group who criminally harasses or threatens violence against Florida’s faith-based community will be arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

“While there are currently no known threats or protests planned in Florida over the weekend, there have been recent acts of violence toward the Jewish community, and we ask our citizens to be vigilant and report suspicious activity. FDLE is in constant coordination and communication with local law enforcement, and will have a presence across the state to reinforce local law enforcement efforts.”

Those who see “suspicious activity” should call “855-FLA-SAFE or your local law enforcement agency,” or 911 in an emergency situation.

Meanwhile, the Anti-Defamation League is calling for a #ShabbatOfPeaceNotHate in response to expected “increased antisemitic flier distributions, protests and graffiti.”

“It is completely unacceptable that the Jewish community — or any community — should be targeted by extremists spreading hate and alarm,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO and National Director. “The hate groups behind this effort hope that we will be afraid and isolated. Instead, we are coming together in resolve and solidarity.”

A bill has been filed for the 2023 Legislative Session that would make antisemitic messages and hate acts a felony.

Delray Beach Republican Rep. Mike Caruso is trying to crack down on a disturbing rise in antisemitism through new legislation that would make publicly displaying a swastika and other intolerant imagery a felony.

That classification would also apply to people who distribute materials “with religious or ethnic animus,” harass others for their religious or ethnic heritage, and “maliciously deface” or damage public or private property, namely cemeteries and schools.

Each would be a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison.

The proposed new law would also allow for first-degree misdemeanor charges — punishable by up to a year in prison — to be filed against a person who publicly distributes flyers featuring any material, objectionable or otherwise, if the flyers lead to littering.

Rep. Mike Caruso’s bill (HB 269) comes in response to intolerant displays across the state, including projections of antisemitic messages and swastikas on buildings in downtown West Palm Beach and Jacksonville and antisemitic flyers left outside of homes in Boca Raton.

Similar flyers popped up in Fort Myers, Fort Pierce, Jacksonville, Miami, Naples, Orlando, Punta Gorda, Sarasota and Vero Beach in July, prompting calls for a federal probe into the matter.

Jacksonville passed an emergency measure earlier this year that sought “content neutral” penalties for projecting images onto private buildings without the property owner’s permission, but the state legislation clearly would go farther than that.

Florida Politics’ Jesse Scheckner contributed reporting.

 

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


One comment

  • Earl Pitts American

    February 25, 2023 at 1:42 pm

    Good Aftternoon America,
    After we get the Jewish people secured we are going to send the FDLE out to the schools to arrest all the groomers.
    Thank You America,
    Earl Pitts American

Comments are closed.


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