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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Sen. Sobel: We need a state task force on hate crimes



 After several people were gunned down in a Wisconsin Sikh temple this month, Florida State Sen. Eleanor Sobel is calling for a new task force to look into state policies regarding hate crimes.

“Florida represents a diversity of ethnicities and religious beliefs and we should be doing everything we can to ensure that such a despicable event does not occur here,” Sobel, a Broward County Democrat, said in a statement. “We have the third largest number of active hate groups in the nation and I want us to begin this process by taking this first step.”

The shooter in the Sikh temple shooting was tied to white supremacist groups.

Sobel said she was not calling for any changes to state law or policy, but simply a review of current state law. In a letter to Gov. Rick Scott, Sobel said the task force should involve representatives from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Florida Supreme Court, the Legislature, the state's Attorney General and private citizens.

There are currently several task forces operating under the govenor's purview, including one created this year to review the state's Stand Your Ground law.

Read Sobel's letter.



[Last modified: Thursday, August 16, 2012 12:45pm]


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