A Florida man was sentenced today in federal court for his racially-motivated attack on a group of Black men who were surveying land along a public road in Rosewood, Florida.
David Emanuel, 63, of Cedar Key, was sentenced to one year and a day in prison followed by two years of supervised release for his bias-motivated attack on six men who were surveying land owned by one of the victims at the time of the offenses.
“Racially-motivated hate crimes run contrary to our values as Americans and simply have no place in our society today,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “This defendant violently and callously sought to strike a group of Black men with his truck because of their race. As we mark 100 years since the horrific 1923 Rosewood Massacre, the Justice Department stands resolute in its commitment to holding accountable those who commit violent racially-motivated hate crimes in our country.”
“This sentencing sends a clear message that committing hate crimes has serious consequences,” said U.S. Attorney Jason R. Coody for the Northern District of Florida. “Despicable, hate-fueled crimes such as these have no place in our state or country. 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.”
“There is no place for hate and racism in this community,” said Special Agent in Charge Sherri E. Onks of the FBI Jacksonville Field Office. “No one should ever fear they could be targeted in an act of violence based on how they look, where they’re from or any part of their identity. Hate crimes are not only an attack on the victim; they are meant to threaten and intimidate an entire community, and because of their wide-ranging impact, investigating hate crimes is among the FBI’s highest priorities. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to seek justice for victims and their communities.”
On July 26, after a two-day trial, a jury in Gainesville convicted Emanuel for driving his truck toward the group of six elderly or adult Black men because of their race, and because they were using a public road.
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 Emanuel’s racially-motivated attack.
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 prosecuted the case.