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Governor signs bill cracking down on hate crimes

The legislation makes it a felony to harass or intimidate people for their religion or ethnicity.
Israel US DeSantis
Posted at 6:23 PM, Apr 28, 2023

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law new crackdowns on hate crimes in Florida.

While visiting Israel, DeSantis signed what some supporters are calling the strongest antisemitism law in the United States.

“You don’t have a right to threaten people. You don’t have a right to harass people. You don’t have a right to intimidate,” the Governor said while signing the bill into law.

The legislation makes it a felony to harass or intimidate people for their religion or ethnicity. It also brings felony charges for projecting hateful images onto someone else’s property, like what happened in West Palm Beach earlier this year when suspects displayed a swastika onto downtown buildings.

“Putting it on somebody else’s property, they’re defining it in this bill as a trespass. You can be held accountable for infringing on somebody else’s property rights,” said DeSantis.

For months, Fox 4 Investigates has documented the rise in antisemitism and hate crimes.

In their annual report, Hate in the Sunshine State, the Anti-Defamation League found Florida had the fourth most hate incidents in the country in 2021, the most recent year data was available.

The FBI found hate crimes rose by 12% during that same time period. In Florida, the Attorney General’s office found hate crimes spiked by 16%.

“This is a major blow to hatemongers who harass, intimidate and threaten our communities,” the ADL said in a statement.