Hate Crimes Unit Prosecutors Participate in Anti-Defamation League Training

Miami SAO maintains on-going training and personal development programming to provide Assistant State Attorneys and support staff information on best practices and service excellence. More than 140 Assistant State Attorneys (ASAs) logged into a virtual presentation led by David Barkey from Anti-Defamation League (ADL) covering Hate Crimes statistics, key features, indicators, and offender typology.

Mr. Barkey is ADL’s Senior Counsel and their Southeastern Area Counsel. He provides legal, legislative and public affairs counsel on issues including, discrimination, hate crimes, extremism, free speech, and religious freedom. Mr. Barkey also regularly trains federal, state, and local law enforcement on legal and non-legal aspects of hate crimes.

“We all recognize that the country is experiencing unique problems related to Covid-19, including the related economic issues connected with it. One of the by-products of this crisis may be an increase in the number of reported hate crimes,” said State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle. “I am proud to have created a Hate Crimes Prosecution Unit which is presently staffed by excellent experienced prosecutors. It represents not just our commitment to upholding the law, but a commitment to making this community as safe as possible for everyone no matter who you are.”

 

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Hate crimes have an emotional and physical impact that extends far beyond the original victims. They intimidate others in the victim’s community, causing them to feel isolated, vulnerable, and unprotected by the law. These crimes polarize cities and damage the very essence of our community .

According to a 2018 FDLE report, Florida witnessed significant increases in hate crimes during the past few years, before reaching a plateau in 2017. The FBI reports that Florida had 145 hate crimes in 2017 and 145 reported hate crimes in 2018. is the numbers are much higher than 2015 and 2016, when 72 and 96 of these crimes were committed, respectively. Of course, these numbers don’t tell the whole story. Most believe that only a portion of these crimes are reported and/or identified.