Rep. Soto wants Justice Dept. to investigate antisemitic activity in Orlando

Investigation sought of ‘potential civil rights and criminal violations’

Rep. Darren Soto, D-Fla., center, accompanied by Rep. Tony Cardenas, D-Calif., left, and Rep. Teresa Leger Fernandez, D-N.M., right, speaks to members of the media following a meeting with President Joe Biden at the White House in Washington, Monday, April 25, 2022. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) (Andrew Harnik, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

ORLANDO, Fla. – A U.S. congressman for the Orlando area is asking the Justice Department to investigate an antisemitic group and its recent activity in Orange County.

Rep. Darren Soto, D-Kissimmee, wrote to Attorney General Merrick Garland Thursday, asking him to investigate “potential civil rights and criminal violations.”

Soto called the group a “network of antisemitic provocateurs that participate in propaganda distribution and street actions.” He specifically mentioned the recent distribution of antisemitic flyers in a Lake Nona neighborhood which is part of Soto’s district, as well as a purported protest last month outside a Jewish center in south Orange County.

“These incidents are part of a surge of antisemitism nationwide, and we must use all resources available to stop the spread of hate,” Soto said.

[TRENDING: Become a News 6 Insider]

News 6 is not naming the hate group, which Volusia Sheriff Mike Chitwood recently blasted for “despicable, cowardly and reprehensible” attacks throughout that county.

That includes using a portable projector to display antisemitic messages on the side of Daytona International Speedway, what is believed to be the same group displaying antisemitic signs on a pedestrian overpass, people handing out antisemitic propaganda in Ormond Beach and reports of hateful speech in the city of Port Orange.

Get today’s headlines in minutes with Your Florida Daily:

About the Author:

Christie joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021.