Boca Raton – The Florida Hate Crime Coalition (FHCC) recently sent a letter to Senator Randolph Bracy, Chair of the Florida Senate’s Criminal Justice Committee, urging him to agenda SB 588 for a hearing before the Committee, and it launched an online petition for Floridians to contact the Senator about the bill.

SB 588 would strengthen Florida’s current hate crime statute by fixing critical gaps in the law.

The letter advises Senator Bracy that “[c]ountering the hate and violence on display in Gainesville, Charlottesville, VA and other extremist rallies across the country is not a Democratic or Republican value, but an American value …” and “[a]ll Floridians deserve the full protection of our State’s hate crime law.”

In urging the Senator to give SB 588 a hearing, the letter explains that “… [i]n our State, a hate crime cannot be charged if a victim is targeted for their physical disability, gender or gender identity. Furthermore, the hate crime law does not cover “mixed-motive” hate crimes ….  SB 588 would fix these critical gaps in the hate crime law by (1) expanding its definition of disability to cover physical disabilities; (2) adding the categories of gender and gender identity; and (3) covering mixed-motive hate crimes.”

Any Floridian can sign FHCC’s online petition urging Senator Bracy to give SB 588 a hearing by clicking here.

Led by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), FHCC’s mission is to secure a comprehensive hate crime law in Florida.  It is a broad coalition composed of civil rights and religious organizations, other non-profit organizations, and law enforcement agencies.

FHCC Members:

Anti-Defamation League
Alpert Jewish Family & Children’s Service
American Jewish Committee
Dave Aronberg, Palm Beach County State Attorney
Autistic Self Advocacy Network
Sheriff Ric Bradshaw, Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office
Chief John Brooks, Sunrise Police Department
Broward County Chiefs of Police Association (BCCPA)
COSMOS (Coalition of South Florida Muslim Organizations)
Disability Independence Group, Inc.
Disability Solutions for Independent Living
Equality Florida
Katherine Fernandez-Rundle, Miami-Dade County State Attorney
Florida Armenians
Florida Association for the Deaf
Florida Atlantic University – Center for Holocaust and Human Rights Education
Florida Council of the Blind
Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of FL
Interfaith Council of Central Florida (ICCF)
Sheriff Scott Israel, Broward County Sheriff’s Office
Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County
Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County
Jewish Community Relations Council of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation
Jewish Family Services of Orlando
Jewish Women’s Foundation of the Greater Palm Beaches (JWF)
JFCS of Southwest Florida
Miami-Dade Police Department (MDPD)
John W. Mina, Chief of Police, Orlando Police Department
National Council of Jewish Women Florida
Palm Beach County Board of Rabbis
PFLAG Gainesville
The Pride Center at Equality Park
Rabbinical Association of Greater Miami
Chief Vincent C. Robinson , Jennings Police Department, Jennings, Florida
Ruth & Norman Rales Jewish Family Services, Inc.
SALDEF – Sikh American Legal Defense Fund
Satellite Beach Police Department
Sikh Society of Central Florida
St. Petersburg Police Department
United Sikhs
Unity Coalition|Coalición Unida
Women’s Foundation of Palm Beach County

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