HOLIDAY, Fla. (WFLA) – A Holiday man is facing federal charges after deputies say he harassed an Iraqi-American family.
David Boileau, 58, is being charged with criminal interference with a right to fair housing and obstruction of justice through witness tampering after intentionally threatening and intimidate the family of six so that they would move out of their neighborhood and leave the country.
But Boileau isn’t the first person in Florida to commit those types of discriminatory crimes, and unfortunately, based on the number of those crimes being reported, he likely won’t be the last.
While most hate crimes are relatively hard to prove, the number of hate crimes in Florida, as reported by the Federal Bureau of Investigations, has steadily increased in the last several years.
According to the FBI’s most recent report, which draws from 2017 data, 145 hate crimes were investigated by the FBI in 2017, with 70 of those based on race or ethnicity.
Those numbers are up from 2016, where 96 hate crimes were reported from Florida.
In 2015, the hate crimes reported in Florida was 72 — less than a third of the 145 hate crimes that were reported in 2017.
The charge against Boileau is defined as a hate crime by the Department of Justice because a federal civil rights statute “makes it a crime to use, or threaten to use force to interfere with housing rights because of the victim’s race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, or national origin.
Hate crimes in Florida
Here’s a look at hate crimes in Florida from 2015 to 2017. Hover over the bars to see the exact number.