Authorities announced on Friday that two White men in Florida men were charged with a federal hate crime for an alleged racist attack on a Black man at a store parking lot.
The men, both in their 50s, are accused of attacking the man at a Family Dollar Tree store parking lot in Citrus County. The violent incident began when one of the men reportedly started yelling racial slurs at the Black man as he was walking away from the store. That’s when he approached the victim and starting hitting him in the face.
As the Black man lied on the ground, the other man then allegedly hit the victim several times with an ax handle.
Both men were indicted by a grand jury, according to the U.S. Justice Department.
They two were already charged with assault and battery on the victim in November.
Federal hate crime charges carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
More about the racist attack can be found here.
Opinion: Florida never fails to rest it’s bigoted head. This is the third story BNN posted this week about hate crimes against Black people in Florida. Why it took more than 6 months to bring federal hate crime charges against these men is perplexing because it doesn’t seem reasonable, even as an issue the federal government has the authority to prosecute. The grand jury got the verdict right, but as noted before, Florida justice officials have shown leniency in hate crime prosecutions. The punishment needs to fit the crime. The victim also deserves restitution for his medical expenses on the perpetrator’s dime — assuming they have one.
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