Attacks Against the Homeless Could Be Considered Hate Crimes

A bill that would classify certain attacks against the homeless as hate crimes is moving through the state legislature. Broward Sheriff Al Lamberti is championing it after a spate of unprovoked brutality on the homeless in his county, with security camera footage of some of the attacks making the local news. In fact, Florida leads the nation in number of attacks against the homeless.

Attacks that are found to fit the definition of a hate crime would garner stiffer penalties. The bill passed the House Criminal and Civil Justice Policy Council with only one "no" vote.

Florida hate crime laws already cover race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, advance age, and mental and physical disabilities. Laws do not currently cover gender identity.

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