Archive: Painted swastikas
Archive: Painted swastikasGershon Elinson/Flash90

A Florida man who authorities described as being a member of an extremist group has been arrested for displaying a banner with swastikas on a highway overpass, a violation of a new state law that makes it a crime to display images onto a structure without permission, The Associated Press reported.

The man from Cape Canaveral was arrested Tuesday and booked into the Brevard County Jail on an arrest warrant from Orange County in Orlando, according to the report.

According to the arrest warrant, the man, along with others dressed in black and camouflage, displayed the banner with swastikas and a “white power” flag over an overpass that crossed Interstate 4 in Orlando in June.

“The displaying of these signs and banners onto the fence was knowingly and intentionally done without the written consent of Orange County,” the arrest warrant said.

The man who was arrested is part of an antisemitic extremist group and is facing a charge of criminal mischief.

In April, the Florida legislature passed a bill that takes aim at antisemitism by increasing penalties for harassment based on religious or ethnic heritage.

The bill prohibits someone from distributing items on private property with the intent to threaten or intimidate. Charges for carrying out such an act include a first degree misdemeanor and up to a third degree felony if it was deemed a credible threat.

The measure is partially in response to activity in Florida by hate group Goyim Defense League who have littered multiple areas of the state with antisemitic flyers.

Over the last couple of years, antisemitic groups have also rallied outside Walt Disney World and a Chabad house in Orlando; displayed messages of Jew-hatred on a Jacksonville stadium during a highly watched college football game; and visited Florida universities trying to provoke students with messaging including “Ye Is Right” (referring to the rapper, formerly known as Kanye West, who went on an antisemitic tirade last fall).

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