ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Charges are forthcoming against three people believed to be participants in an antisemitic rally, Orange County Sheriff John Mina announced Tuesday at a news briefing.
This announcement follows two separate incidents in Central Florida in which self-proclaimed Nazis shouted antisemitic slogans outside a shopping plaza on Saturday and waved a swastika flag over a highway overpass on Sunday.
The three people facing forthcoming charges attended the rally at Waterford Lakes on Saturday near the University of Central Florida, the sheriff’s office said.
“Obviously, we went out there and again, we have to balance everyone’s right to freedom of speech, which can be very difficult for us, especially in those situations of hate speech,” Mina said. “And we know people in our community are upset by that. Our deputies are upset by what we saw this weekend.”
In a social media video that has since been deleted of the incident, a man was seen throwing a punch at another person.
With the help of the Anti-Defamation League and Jewish community leaders, Mina said investigators were able to identify some of the people involved in the incident.
“The arrest has not been made, but charges are coming. We’re very confident that we’re going to be able to charge at least three people,” Mina said. “So we’re just trying to put everything you know all together and make sure we have the exact charges before we present that and arrest them.”
He also thanked everyone who shared videos, which have been used as part of the ongoing investigation.
Mina said the incidents were “not only hurtful to our Jewish community but to everyone, as human beings. You know, I find that very hurtful as well.”