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Man from Florida Receives One-Year Federal Prison Sentence for Attempt to Run Over Six Black Individuals

by Sophia Chen
10 comments
Federal Prison Sentence for Hate Crime in Florida

A white male, aged 62, has been found guilty of trying to run over six Black men at the location of the historical Rosewood massacre. He has been handed a one-year prison sentence by a federal court.

David Allen Emanuel maintained a composed demeanor on Thursday when Federal Judge Allen Winsor pronounced his sentence. Emanuel faced six separate counts of hate crimes for his attempt to harm Marvin Dunn, a historian, Dunn’s son, and four other Black men. They were assessing Dunn’s property in Rosewood with plans to construct a memorial commemorating the massacre.

Judge Winsor stipulated a prison term of 12 months and one additional day for each of the six charges, allowing these sentences to run concurrently. The Department of Justice had advocated for a more extended sentence, recommending a term between five and six years.

Emanuel, who is a retired clam farmer residing in north-central Florida, has been directed to surrender himself to prison authorities no later than January 2. Following his incarceration, he will also be under supervised release for a period of two years.

The site of the incident, Rosewood, was a predominantly Black community in Levy County, Florida, decimated in 1923. Before the event in question took place in September 2022, court records indicate that Emanuel yelled racial epithets at the group from his white Ford F-250, insisting that they vacate the area.

When informed by Dunn that they were on public property, Emanuel left the scene only to return a few minutes later, accelerating his truck in the direction of the group. Frederick Douglas Dunn, the son of Marvin Dunn, narrowly avoided being hit. A jury found Emanuel guilty over the subsequent summer.

Dunn expressed relief following the court’s decision, noting, “I’m relieved this is all over with, and I think that it’s fair.”

Supporters and family of Emanuel filled the defense side of the courtroom during the hearing, with some visibly emotional as the judge read the verdict. Judge Winsor acknowledged Emanuel’s past contributions to the community but emphasized the necessity of a sentence that would deter racially motivated crimes.

Despite the gravity of the situation, Marvin Dunn and his son offered a message of forgiveness. In a letter submitted to the court last week, Dunn asked for leniency towards Emanuel, arguing that forgiveness was not just for the individuals involved but as a step forward for the nation as a whole.

Judge Winsor considered the letter but ultimately decided that probation would be an inadequate punishment, lacking in deterrent effect. Multiple other letters supporting Emanuel were submitted, and four individuals testified on his behalf before sentencing, including Cedar Key Police Chief Edward Jenkins.

Defense attorney Darren James Johnson made the case for racial sensitivity training instead of imprisonment, citing Emanuel’s health concerns and asserting that the incident was isolated and not primarily racially motivated. However, Judge Winsor disagreed, stating that race was the confirmed motive behind Emanuel’s actions.

After the proceedings, Emanuel was seen congregating with approximately two dozen supporters around his white Ford F-250, which displayed a Confederate flag.


This report is a production of Fresh Take Florida, a news outlet affiliated with the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications. For further information, the reporter can be contacted at [email protected]. Contributions to support our student journalists are welcome.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Federal Prison Sentence for Hate Crime in Florida

What was David Allen Emanuel convicted of?

David Allen Emanuel, a 62-year-old white male, was convicted on six separate counts of hate crimes for attempting to run over Marvin Dunn, a historian, Dunn’s son, and four other Black men in Rosewood, Florida.

How long is Emanuel’s sentence?

Emanuel has been sentenced to 12 months and one additional day in federal prison for each of the six counts of hate crimes. The sentences for these counts will run concurrently.

What did the Justice Department initially recommend for the sentence?

The Department of Justice had advocated for a more extended sentence, recommending a prison term between five and six years.

What is the significance of the location where the crime took place?

The incident occurred at the location of the historical Rosewood massacre, which was a predominantly Black community in Levy County, Florida, destroyed in 1923.

What led up to the attack?

Before the event took place in September 2022, court records indicate that Emanuel yelled racial epithets at the group from his white Ford F-250 and insisted that they leave the area. He returned a few minutes later and accelerated his truck toward the group.

What was the reaction from the victims?

Marvin Dunn and his son offered a message of forgiveness, asking the court for leniency toward Emanuel. They submitted a letter to the court expressing their plea for mercy not just for Emanuel, but as a step forward for the nation.

Was any additional support presented for Emanuel?

More than 30 letters supporting Emanuel were submitted to the court. Four individuals, including Cedar Key Police Chief Edward Jenkins, testified on his behalf before sentencing.

What did the defense argue for Emanuel’s sentencing?

Defense attorney Darren James Johnson argued that Emanuel has health issues and should be ordered to complete some form of racial sensitivity training rather than being imprisoned. He justified a lighter sentence by stating that the incident was isolated and not primarily racially motivated.

What did Judge Allen Winsor say about the sentence?

Judge Winsor acknowledged Emanuel’s contributions to the community but emphasized that a prison term was necessary for general deterrence against racially motivated crimes. He also disagreed with the defense’s claim that the incident was not primarily racially motivated.

What happens after Emanuel’s prison term?

Following his incarceration, David Allen Emanuel will also be under supervised release for a period of two years.

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10 comments

Steve_M October 22, 2023 - 1:03 am

Dunn’s approach to forgiveness is admirable but doesn’t mean the law should be lenient on hate crimes.

Reply
Mike J October 22, 2023 - 1:40 am

Wow, only one year for trying to run over 6 people because of their race? Seems like a light sentence to me.

Reply
LisaK October 22, 2023 - 3:56 am

more than 30 letters supporting Emanuel? That’s a lot but doesn’t change the fact that he tried to harm people.

Reply
WilliamT October 22, 2023 - 4:53 am

The Rosewood Massacre was a tragic part of our history, and now this? Seems we’ve still got a long way to go.

Reply
AlexP October 22, 2023 - 5:14 am

I dont get it. How can anyone say that race had “little to do with the incident”? It was a racially charged hate crime. Period.

Reply
SarahW October 22, 2023 - 6:05 am

can’t believe he only got a year. What’s that gonna teach him, or anyone else looking to commit a hate crime?

Reply
Tom_N October 22, 2023 - 8:34 am

Justice system needs a serious look, Emanuel was clearly motivated by hate, and yet gets just 12 months. Where’s the deterrent?

Reply
Jen_22 October 22, 2023 - 9:48 am

Defense wants racial sensitivity training instead of prison? c’mon, that doesn’t seem like enough.

Reply
TinaQ October 22, 2023 - 11:18 am

Where is the justice system headed? A year is insufficient for such a serious crime, it’s not just about Emanuel, it’s about setting a precedent.

Reply
DebbieO October 22, 2023 - 6:01 pm

Marvin Dunn and his son are so gracious. Offering forgiveness like that takes real strength.

Reply

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