Florida

Hate groups declining in U.S., but on the rise in Florida

While the number of hate groups appear to be shrinking across the U.S., that’s not necessarily the case in Florida.

The Southern Poverty Law Center on Monday released its latest numbers for hate groups and antigovernmental groups.

Florida has 68 hate groups, according to the SPLC, ranking second in the U.S. behind California and up from 67 in 2019.

READ: Proud Boys organizer arrested in Central Florida, accused of participating in U.S. Capitol riot, feds say

In 2020, SPLC tracked 838 active hate groups in the country, which is fewer than the 940 tracked the year before.

However, researchers don’t think the lower number reflects a decrease in the level of hate and bigotry.

Instead, they believe the pandemic, and increase in online platforms, has changed how the hate groups operate.

READ: Sanford firefighter accused of participating in Capitol riot placed on unpaid leave

The Proud Boys has six chapters in Florida, including Orlando and DeLand, according to the SPLC.

Jeff Deal

Jeff Deal, WFTV.com

I joined the Eyewitness News team as a reporter in 2006.

Adam Poulisse, WFTV.com

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.

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