Two more neo-Nazis have been arrested after they were recorded hanging swastikas and other anti-Semitic banners along a bridge near Orlando without the government’s permission — a violation of Florida’s new public nuisance law, police say. In total, four people have been arrested in connection to the racist demonstration.
The law — signed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in April — prohibits people intentionally displaying or projecting messages on a property without the written consent of its owner. DeSantis has said it gives law enforcement agencies a new tool to stop perpetrators of anti-Semitic incidents and those who target religious communities.
Amanda Rains, 36, and Ronald Murray, 41, turned themselves in Tuesday at an Orange County jail, said Dana Kelly, a spokeswoman of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Both are being charged with a criminal mischief first-degree misdemeanor.
Their arrest warrants say that an FDLE agent observed an online video posted online by the “Order of the Black Sun,” an anti-Semitic group, showing its members dressed in black or military-style camouflage clothing affixing signs and banners along the Daryl Carter Parkway bridge near Orlando on June 10.
The pair, members of the hate group according to police, were seen in the video affixing a white banner with swastikas that read “Destroy ALL Pedophiles.”
In the same footage, Anthony James Altick, 36, and Jason James Brown, 48, were observed affixing a swastika flag to the bridge, their arrest warrants say. Altick turned himself in on Sunday in Alachua County and Brown was arrested last week at his Cape Canaveral home, according to authorities.
An FDLE agent noted in all their warrants that an officer with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, who was at the location on June 10, witnessed the three men and the woman affixing the hate-filled signs onto the bridge’s fence so eastbound Interstate 4 drivers could see them.
“The displaying of these signs and banners onto the fence was knowingly and intentionally done without the written consent of Orange County,” the FDLE agent said.
#YourFDLE: Final two Orlando neo-Nazi demonstrators arrested. Ronald Murray, 41, and Amanda Rains, 36, for hanging anti-Semitic hate banners along the Daryl Carter Parkway Bridge in Orlando in violation of FSS 806.13(6). They turned themselves in yesterday. pic.twitter.com/HNNueTlmav
— FDLE (@fdlepio) September 20, 2023
Anti-Semitic groups, including the one the suspects are allegedly members of, waved swastika flags, performed Hitler salutes and shouted hateful messages against Jewish people in outside of Walt Disney World Resort and in another area of Central Florida on Sept. 2, according to the Anti-Defamation League, an organization that monitors anti-Semitic incidents. A week earlier, a white gunman with a swastika-emblazoned assault-style rifle killed three Black people at a Dollar General store in Jacksonville.
Nationally, reported hate crime incidents increased 11.6% from 8,120 in 2020 to 9,065 in 2021, according to an FBI report released earlier this year. Around 65% of victims were targeted because of the offenders’ race, ethnicity or ancestry bias, the FBI said.