A man accused of hanging antisemitic banners over a bridge in Orlando, Florida, was once convicted of shooting three men, killing one of them. Anthony Altick, 36, is facing a criminal mischief charge after agents with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) say he helped hang those banners on June 10 from the Daryl Carter Parkway overpass above Interstate 4.
This is not the first time Altick has been in trouble with the law. In 2015, he was convicted of second-degree assault and sentenced to two years in prison after shooting three men in St. Louis, Missouri. One of the men died.
Altick’s arrest comes at a time when Florida is cracking down on hate speech. A new state law makes it a crime to display an image on a property without the owner’s consent.
State Rep. Randy Fine, a Republican representing part of Brevard County, helped draft the new law. He said that Altick and other neo-Nazis are “losers” and “criminals” who will be held accountable for breaking the law.
“This is not about speech, it’s about behavior,” Fine said. “And these cowards and losers are going to get held accountable when they break the law.”
But Augustus Invictus, the man representing Altick and other neo-Nazis, said that the charges against his clients are “brazenly unconstitutional prosecution.” He said that the new law is “an explicit criminalization of anti-Semitic speech.”
Fine dismissed Invictus’ arguments, saying that he should have shown up in Tallahassee and attended committee hearings where the bill was heard.
“They’re interested in scaring people, intimidating people, and hurting people,” Fine said. “If they were interested in speech, they would do it the way normal people do, but they’re criminal losers. And in the state of Florida, they’re going to end up in prison.”
It is important to note that Altick is innocent until proven guilty. However, his past criminal history and the fact that he is accused of hanging antisemitic banners raises serious concerns.
Hate crimes are on the rise in the United States, and it is important to stand up against all forms of bigotry and intolerance. If you see something, say something.