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Neo-Nazi arrested for flying antisemitic banner over I-4

Authorities are still looking for three of Brown's associates.
Authorities are still looking for three of Brown's associates.

A neo-Nazi who hung antisemitic banners over I-4 in June has been arrested.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement said 48-year-old Jason Brown was arrested for allegedly hanging swastikas and other antisemitic signage along the Daryl Carter Parkway Bridge in Orlando.

Authorities are still looking for three of Brown’s associates who live outside the state who helped him on the day.

Brown was arrested with criminal mischief under new Florida law HB 269. It makes it illegal to display or project images onto buildings without permission.

Brown is a member of the Florida-based white supremacist group Order of the Black Sun, that the Anti-Defamation League or ADL says, “distributes propaganda and holds in-person demonstrations to spread their white supremacist ideology.”

The arrest comes weeks after neo-Nazis demonstrated outside Walt Disney World in Orlando.

The ADL says antisemitic events in 2022 in Florida surged to historic heights. A total of 269 incidents were recorded mostly in South Florida.

“The dramatic rise in antisemitic incidents across the country and right here in Florida should trouble everyone,” said Sarah Emmons, ADL Florida Regional Director. “We need our leaders to hear one message: antisemitism, no matter where it emanates from, must be clearly and consistently denounced. Florida’s Jewish community needs allies and leaders to demonstrate that antisemitism and all forms of bias will not be tolerated in Florida.”

Emmons says the rise in antisemitism in Florida can mostly be attributed to a rise in white supremacist and right-wing extremist ideology throughout the country.

Of the antisemitic incidents in Florida last year, 44% were extremist-related.

In 2022, the Southern Poverty Law Center tracked 89 hate and antigovernment groups in Florida including groups that target Jewish, Muslim and LGBTQ communities in the state.

Danielle Prieur is a general assignment reporter and fill-in host at WMFE.
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