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Father of Hot Yoga shooting victim calls for state law to recognize gender in hate crime reporting

Posted at 5:17 PM, Nov 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-25 18:10:04-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — The FBI recognizes just one hate crime in Tallahassee for 2018 and it isn't the shooting at Hot Yoga Tallahassee.

That shooting happened one year ago this month. Now, the father of the one of the victims is calling for a change to Florida law.

The shooter killed two women and hurt another five people.

He had a history of sexual misconduct and was even arrested for groping two women. Police later said he "expressed hatred toward women in general."

A Florida Statute says that prejudice motivated crimes can be based on race, sexual orientation, and religion to name a few. But it never mentions anything about gender or gender identity.

Maura Binkley's father is looking for more protections for crimes against women. Maura Binkley was one of the two woman who was attacked and killed on November 2, 2018.

Jeff Binkley says hearing that his daughter's death is not considered a hate crime in Florida is painfully disturbing.

The FBI's standard for hate crime reporting lists gender, gender identity, and disability. Jeff Binkley wants legislators to get on board with the federal standard for hate crimes.

"She would pose a question," said Jeff Binkley. "A simple question to our policy makers: She would say 'Why shouldn't Florida law be amended? Why shouldn't it recognize gender, gender identity, and disability?'"

Jeff Binkley says he plans to take this to lawmakers and he hopes that others will join him. A House bill and a Senate bill were filed last week to include gender, gender identity, and disability in hate crimes.

In Georgia, there are no hate crime laws at all.