A 62-year-old white man from Florida who was convicted of hate crimes for attempting to run down six Black men at the site where the Rosewood massacre took place has been sentenced to one year in prison.
As reported by the Associated Press, David Allen Emanuel was sentenced to a one-year prison sentence for six counts of hate crimes by Federal Judge Allen Winsor on Thursday after attempting to run over historian Marvin Dunn, his son, and four other Black men who were “surveying Dunn’s Rosewood property in order to build a memorial for the massacre.”
Rosewood was a Black town in Levy County, Florida, destroyed in 1923 in a racially motivated attack. The Justice Department reportedly sought a longer prison term of five to six years for Emmanuel, who must surrender by noon on January 2, 2024. He must also serve two years of supervised release following the completion of his prison term.
The incident occurred in September 2022 when Emanuel shouted racial slurs at the group of men and demanded that they leave the area. When the group, including Marvin Dunn, responded that they were parked on a public road, Emanuel sped off but returned minutes later in his truck, driving toward the group. Dunn’s son narrowly escaped harm by leaping into the grass. Emanuel was subsequently convicted by a jury earlier this year.
At the sentencing hearing, Judge Allen Winsor mentioned that he recognized Emanuel’s value to the community but also stressed the need for general deterrence, as the attack was motivated by race. The elder Dunn said that he and his son attended the sentencing with a message of forgiveness. He submitted a letter to the judge on behalf of the victims, requesting mercy for Emmanuel not only for their own sake but as a step toward healing and addressing issues of race in the United States.
“For me, my faith requires forgiveness, and so I must,” the letter read. “(Race) is the thorn in our collective side, the unmovable rock in our common path. For America to become whole, the thorns and rocks must be removed. The victims in this case are hopeful that in our plea for mercy for Mr. Emanuel and his family, we are taking an important step toward the goal of removing these obstacles to healing.”
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