After two hours of deliberation, a jury in Gainesville, Florida, convicted David Emanuel, 62, on all counts for committing hate crimes for his racially motivated attack on a group of Black men who were surveying land along a public road in Rosewood, Florida.
On March 15, Emanuel was charged with willfully intimidated of the victims, F.D.D., and attempted to injure and intimidate F.D.D. through the use Emanuel’s vehicle, because of F.D.D.’s race and color and because F.D.D. was using a public facility. Emanuel was also charged for willfully intimidating and attempting to intimidate five additional victims, through the use of Emanuel’s vehicle because of the victims’ race and color and because the victims were using a public facility. According to the indictment, all six victims were Black males who were surveying land owned by one of the victims at the time of the offenses.
Evidence at trial proved that on Sept. 6, 2022, Emanuel found the victims surveying land adjacent to a public roadway near the location of the 1923 Rosewood Massacre. When the defendant came upon the victims, who were on the public roadway, he shouted racial slurs and expletives at them, including “[racial slur] get out of these woods” before driving a pickup truck directly at the group, nearly striking one of them. At trial, one witness testified that Emanuel admitted that he “came at those [expletives],” and that he “would have [expletive]d up all those Black [expletive]. Video evidence showed that after he was arrested, Emanuel complained that he was “getting treated like this [expletive] over a [expletive] [racial slur].” One witness testified that the defendant came “within inches” of striking one of the victims and that one victim, “nearly lost his life that day.” No victims suffered physical injury as a result of the defendant’s racially motivated attack.
“This defendant is being held accountable for intimidating a group of men and weaponizing his vehicle to attack them,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “As we marked 100 years since the horrific 1923 Rosewood Massacre, this verdict should send a strong message that violent, racially motivated conduct will not be tolerated in our society. The Justice Department is committed to aggressively enforcing our federal civil rights laws.”
“Despicable, hate-fueled crimes such as these have no place in our state or country,” said U.S. Attorney Jason R. Coody for the Northern District of Florida. “The violence directed toward these victims, based solely on their race, is abhorrent and will not be tolerated. With the dedicated assistance of our law enforcement partners, we will continue to aggressively investigate and prosecute civil rights violations to ensure justice for those victimized by hate.”
“Horrific acts of hate-motivated violence like this are devastating to families and communities,” said Assistant Director Luis Quesada of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division. “The FBI is fiercely committed to investigating civil rights violations and holding perpetrators accountable.”
The FBI Jacksonville Field Office and Gainesville Resident Agency investigated the case, with assistance from the Levy County Sheriff’s Office.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kaitlin Weiss and Frank Williams for the Northern District of Florida and Trial Attorney Laura-Kate Bernstein of the Civil Rights Division’s Criminal Section are prosecuting the case.