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Hate Crimes Rare In Florida. But Only Because Many Police Fail To Report Them Accurately

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DANIEL A. VARELA
/
Miami Herald
Asia Best poses for a portrait for the Miami Herald at the University of Miami Life Science & Technology Park in Miami, Florida on Wednesday, November 20, 2019.

A transgender woman gunned down in South Dade. Another burned to death in Clewiston. A third gender non-conforming person bound, beaten and dragged naked by car down the streets of Jacksonville.

All of these violent attacks took place in the last few months in Florida, and none have yet been identified by law enforcement as hate crimes, despite appeals from many in the LGBTQ community. Last year, Jacksonville led the nation in the murders of transgender women and not one of the killings, or other attacks against the LGBTQ community, were reported as hate crimes.

“We feel unsafe here,” said Paige Mahogany Parks, 47, a Jacksonville transwoman and director of the Transgender Awareness Project.

“Jacksonville is a transphobic, homophobic city,” she said. “We have to watch our backs and always be on alert.”

Read more at news partner the Miami Herald.