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Courts / Law

Members of hate groups have a 'significant presence' in the Tampa Bay area

Capitol Breach Arrest Illinois
Jose Luis Magana
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AP
Supporters of President Donald Trump climb the west wall of the the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021.

A member of the national executive committee of the Anti-Defamation League and the Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee said this includes members of organizations such as the Proud Boys and Three Percenters.

Last year, the Southern Poverty Law Center identified 50 three hate groups in Florida.

Florida is home to the second highest number of extremist groups in the country — and has more people per capita belonging to them than any other state.

A member of the Anti-Defamation League from Sarasota said organizations like the Proud Boys and Three Percenters have a "significant presence" in the greater Tampa Bay region.

Chart of the number of hate groups in Florida vs other states
David Millstone
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Chart of the number of hate groups in Florida vs other states

David Millstone is a member of the national executive committee of the Anti-Defamation League and the Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee.

During an online workshop, he said Florida is home to the most people arrested in connection with the 2021 assault on the U.S. Capitol.

David Millstone
Zoom
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David Millstone

What can be done.jpg
David Millstone
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"We didn't come second to California, Texas — anyplace else," Millstone said. "Florida is distinguished as having the most residents who have been arrested, that were indicted for participating in the insurrection. There were 70 of them."

Millstone says those people should be held accountable, but groups like his also need to help "improve the government's response to domestic extremism."

For example, Millstone says the Jewish Federation has been asked to train Sarasota police officers on how to recognize and deal with anti-Semitism. The move comes after anti-Semitic fliers were distributed in February and March in several Sarasota neighborhoods.

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