A US court had sentenced a man for 30 months in prison under a law intended to prevent hate crimes, said the Department of Justice in a press release on Tuesday. He had said that he wanted to “kill all of the Jews” and had beat a person whom he thought was Jewish.
As per the press release, Izmir Koch, 34, of Huber Heights, Ohio, was sentenced to 30 months in prison for beating a man he believed to be Jewish outside of a Cincinnati restaurant.
In February of 2017, the defendant and his companions were heard yelling “I want to kill all of the Jews” and “I want to stab the Jews’ outside a Cincinnati restaurant”, the release said.
“The victim represented to Koch that he was Jewish, after which Koch began punching and kicking him.”
“Individuals should be able to live without fear of attack or intimidation based on their religious beliefs,” said Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband of the Civil Rights Division.
“Prosecuting hate crimes is a top priority for the Department of Justice and as this sentence today demonstrates, we will not back down from obtaining justice for victims of violence based on hate.”
“Hate-fueled violent crimes ripple through communities, making entire groups feel unsafe and unwelcome, spawning fear and anger,” U.S. Attorney Glassman said.
“That is why investigating and prosecuting hate crimes is such a high priority. Every community — every person — is entitled to the equal protection of the laws.”
“The FBI aggressively investigates hate crime incidents and works closely with impacted communities,” stated FBI Cincinnati Special Agent in Charge Todd A. Wickerham.
“Each day we strive to protect civil rights and hold accountable those who violate the rights of others,” he added.
Koch, 34, has been convicted of one count of violating the US hate crimes act and one count of making a false statement to the FBI, said in the press release.
Other people joined the assault, which bruised the victim’s ribs and broke a facial bone, the release said. The victim was, in fact, not Jewish but was with people who were.