ADL Condemns Apparent Vicious Hate Crime Targeting Man for Perceived Religion & National Origin
Date: January 3, 2013
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) strongly condemns a reported hate-motivated assault that occurred around 3:00 AM on January 2nd, 2013 outside of a Walmart located in Lutz, Florida. A white male purportedly shot 20 BB gun pellets at a man and his white girlfriend after the perpetrator questioned whether he was Middle Eastern or Muslim. After the unnamed victim replied “no” to both questions, the suspect spewed a racial slur and made mention of the victim being with a “white girl.”
David Barkey, ADL Southeastern Area Counsel, issued the following statement:
“ADL condemns this apparent vicious hate crime targeting the victim for his perceived religion and national origin. Such hate-motivated and bigoted violence is deplorable and we commend the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office for diligently investigating this incident as a possible bias-motivated crime.
Since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, ADL and law enforcement officials have documented multiple ostensible "backlash crimes" directed at Muslim, Sikh, and Arab Americans. ADL has expressed concern about an uptick in bigotry against Muslims and others perceived to be of Middle Eastern origin.
In fact, the U.S. Department of Justice has investigated over 800 incidents since 9/11 involving violence, threats, vandalism and arson against Arab-Americans, Muslims, Sikhs, South-Asian Americans and other individuals perceived to be of Middle Eastern origin.”
In June 2010, the Anti-Defamation League presented an “Extremism, Terrorism and Hate Crime” training in partnership with the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office for law enforcement professionals from various law enforcement agencies in the area. ADL’s hate crimes training seminars offer instruction on the special nature of hate crime, the legal and constitutional framework in which federal and state hate crime statues operate, and how to perform investigative and enforcement duties in a way that reassures the victims and helps alleviate community tensions and fear.
Hate crime statutes have been adopted by 45 states, including Florida. Many of those laws are based on a model statute crafted by ADL, which has long been in the forefront of national and state efforts to deter and counteract hate-motivated criminal activity.