by Frank Butler, OrlandoAdvocate
Three Broward County teens are facing felony charges of criminal mischief, burglary and public order crime prejudice in connection with racist and antisemitic messages spray-painted in the Weston Hills Country Club on Oct. 5. October 5 was Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish calendar. The public order crime prejudice count is an hate crime enhancement.
Weston is part of the Miami Metropolitan Statistical Area, and is located just west of Fort Lauderdale.
Graffiti was found in and outside of bathrooms at the Weston community’s golf course and on a children’s playground at Hunters Pointe, officials said. The teens racial rant-in-paint went on over three separate days during the month of October.
All three of the teens are 16 years of ae. All three live in Weston.
According to Sheriff Gregory Tony, all three teens admitted to their individual involvement in the crimes– which include spray-painting street and traffic signs, a gazebo, a bathroom at the Weston Hills Country Club, and several other places. By entering the bathrooms, the teens committed burglary. The teens said their racist and antisemitic messages were written as a joke. Once they were contacted by police, however, they understood how serious the matter actually is.
“What is it going to look like for these 16-year-olds when they’re 35, applying for a job and saying that they were charged with a hate crime and more than likely going to be convicted of a hate crime?” Tony said.
Antisemitism is no longer the refugee of white nationalists. In early October, Rapper Ye, formerly Kanye West, said he would go “death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE” in a tweet shared to his more than 32 million followers, and on Oct 29, at the Florida-Georgia football game in Jacksonville someone projected “Kanye is right about the Jews” outside an end zone at the TIAA Bank Field stadium.