State Attorney Dave Aronberg recently announced his support for new legislation that broadens the prosecution of hate crimes in Florida.
The bill, sponsored by State Sen. Tina Polsky (D‐District 29) and State Rep. Emily Slosberg (D‐District 91), closes a loophole in the current law that was identified following the disturbing vandalism of a Delray Beach crosswalk caught on video.
In that pending case, the defacing of a gay pride streetscape last June did not meet the existing standard for hate crime penalties because the city itself was the victim, not an individual.
Under SB1208/HB883, local governments for the first time can be considered victims of crimes of prejudice. “This important bill will close a glaring loophole in state law that allows defendants to avoid hate crime charges even though their actions were motived by prejudice. This bill gives prosecutors the tools needed to hold fully accountable those who harm our community with hateful conduct,” Aronberg said.