Judge Ignores Professor’s Plea for Mercy In Sentencing of Unrepentant Florida Man Who Attempted to Run Six Black Men Over While They Surveyed Rosewood Area for Historical Marker

One hundred years after the Rosewood race massacre, a federal judge sentenced a white Cedar Key, Florida, man on hate crimes for a vicious attack against six Black men in Florida. The man will spend the next year and a day in prison followed by two years of parole for his actions.

After a conviction earlier in the summer, on Oct. 19 U.S. District Judge Allen Winsor sentenced David Emanuel to 12 months and a day in connection with the Sept. 6, 2022, incident.

Racist Rosewood attack
David Emanuel Credit: Levy County Sheriff’s Office

Historian Marvin Dunn, his son Frederick Douglass Dunn, and four other men told Atlanta Black Star they were surveying land near Rosewood to build a memorial commemorating the horrific race slaughter that occurred decades ago on the ground. Emanuel saw them and drove his pickup truck toward them. He alleged that though they were on a public street, they were too close to his private property.

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The retired Levy County clam farmer will be required to surrender himself to federal prison no later than noon on Jan. 2, 2024.

Assistant United States Attorney Kaitlin Weiss, who prosecuted the case on behalf of the Department of Justice convinced the court over a two-day trial that the 62-year-old’s actions was racially motivated. She intended to make sure that people who engage in racially motivated attacks are clear about the repercussions.

“We don’t tolerate these acts in these districts,” she said.

The judge said when determining the sentence, he considered the defendant’s mental health history and the fact he did not have a criminal record. He also reviewed 37 written statements from witnesses, family, and friends about the incident and his character.

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland and his team see this as a historic win. While speaking before a group the law enforcement leaders at the state Capitol inTallahassee, he detailed the significance of the victory.

“In July, this office’s Civil Rights Division secured a conviction of a defendant who attacked a group of Black men who were surveying land near the horrific hate-fulled 1923 Rosewood Massacre. The defendant was convicted on hate crimes charges.” Garland said according to WCJB.

The 83-year-old Dunn, who owns the property across from Emanuel, wants the ordeal to be over.

“I’d like to feel comfortable on my own property, and I don’t right now because of this. I’d like to live in peace,” Dunn said after the hearing, according to Alligator.org.

Dunn, a Florida International University professor and a Black history tour guide, also asked the judge via a prepared statement to show his neighbor mercy and talked about the only way to stop racism, the ugly prejudice he called the nation’s “most indigestible problem.”

“It is the lump in our collective throat, the thorn in our collective side, the unmovable rock in our common path,” Dunn said. “For America to become whole, the lumps, thorns, and rocks must be removed.”

Despite his request for leniency, Emanuel himself expressed little remorse for his actions. “I didn’t do a godd-mn thing…get treated like this sh-t over a f-cking n—-r, man. I didn’t do a godd-mn thing to them, son. B—h, I should have run over them motherf—ers,” noted federal prosecutors during the trial.

Dunn also he also has had highway patrolmen at his tours of the historic Rosewood town, a community became a footnote in American domestic terrorist history after a white mob killed over 100 Black people in January 1923 because they were self-sufficient and successful.

For Dunn, his conduct— and forgiveness of Emanuel— is a model of peace and a step toward healing.

When asked why he asked for leniency, he said, “At this moment in our history, it’s good to show reconciliation.”

Adding, “It’s good to show a reach for peace, even if it’s not successful.”

As much as Dunn wants this incident to be over, it will not be. Emanuel still has to face a state charge, where he has been indicted on a count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill.

Read the original story here.

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