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The Matassini Law Firm, P.A. Your trusted legal advisors since 1976

Florida Man Found Guilty After Attempting To Assault Black Family


A Florida man has been convicted of a hate crime after harassing a Black family. The defendant told police that the Blacks need to be kept in their own areas, apparently thinking it was 1950 again. The jury heard evidence that the man yelled racial slurs at the victim and attempted to run him off the road. When the victim stopped at a red light, the defendant got out of his vehicle in an attempt to assault him. The defendant followed the victim for a half mile before the pursuit broke off. Eventually, officers arrived at the scene and the defendant continued his racist tirade informing police officers that he was attempting to shoo the Black family out of his white area. The police were unreceptive to this claim and arrested the man on assault and hate crime charges.

Racist attacks on the rise

 As of 2020, the number of racist attacks against Blacks and Asians has risen considerably since the pandemic. Asians were unjustly blamed for the pandemic which was believed to originate in China. This caused a 70% spike in hate crimes against Asian-Americans in the U.S. Meanwhile, racist attacks against Blacks have risen 40% in that same time period. It is unclear why racist attacks against Blacks have risen; there’s no obvious reason like the pandemic to explain it, but widespread social media content inflaming the most base instincts of the American public is a likely factor here. Blacks remain the most likely demographic to be targeted by racist attacks. Overall, hate crimes have risen 6% since the pandemic.

In April, President Biden signed a bill targeting the rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans. The legislation proposed a review of hate crimes involving Asian populations and was meant to raise awareness about anti-Asian hate in America.

Understanding the law

 While most states have anti-hate-crime verbiage on the books, the federal government has been trying hate crime cases longer, can secure longer sentences, and has the legal resources necessary to pursue these crimes. Hence why the majority of hate crimes are charged by the federal, as opposed to state, government. In the Ahmaud Arbery case, the federal government filed charges against the men responsible for his death even after the State of Georgia convicted the men on “malice murder” counts, which are similar to first-degree murder insofar as being the worst charge an individual can face. The men were already facing life sentences when they were charged again, this time with a hate crime by the federal government, which secured another life sentence.

Facing federal charges is unpleasant due in large part to the mandatory minimums imposed by the sentencing chart. The defendant in the above-mentioned case could face as many as ten years behind bars and no one was even injured. Threats and intimidation account for the majority of racist crimes in America with ignorant people unwittingly thinking their conduct falls under the First Amendment. It doesn’t.

Talk to a Tampa Federal Crimes Defense Lawyer Today

 The Matassini Law Firm represents the interests of those who have been charged with serious federal crimes. Call our Tampa criminal lawyers today to discuss the matter in detail and we can begin preparing your defense immediately.


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