A Florida man has been sentenced to write a 25-page essay on the 2016 Pulse Nightclub massacre after he defaced a newly unveiled rainbow memorial intersection in Delray Beach, Florida

Alexander Jerich, 20, received his writing sentence on Thursday, April 21 after he purposely left a 15-foot skid mark across a memorial rainbow intersection, dedicated to those who lost their lives in the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, unveiled on June 12, 2021.  

Vandalised Pulse Nightclub Massacre Memorial Two Days After Unveiling

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On June 14, two days after the unveiling, Jerich, along with 30 other cars, paraded through Delray Beach as part of the “President Trump Birthday Rally.” 

As Jerich was driving across the intersection he did a burnout, leaving the indelible skid mark.

Judge Scott Suskauer, believing Jerich to be ignorant of the meaning of the memorial, ordered him to research and write about the 49 people who died at Pulse Nightclub and about the people and loved ones they left behind. 

He also asked for Jerich’s analysis as to why the LGBTQ community receives such hate.

“I want your own brief summary of why people are so hateful and why people lash out against the gay community,” Suskauer said.

Pled Guilty to Criminal Mischief and Reckless Driving

According to the Palm Beach Post, Jerich pled guilty in March to criminal mischief and reckless driving. He also paid $2000 to repaint the intersection. 

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During Jerich’s court date, he cried and was apologetic for his actions saying, “I’ve had problems in the past with fitting in. I was just trying to fit in and be accepted.”

While the official sentence will be handed down on June 8, Suskauer decided to give Jerich the writing assignment while he decides on an appropriate punishment.

With regard to the final sentence, Suskauer indicated he was considering a 30-day sentence.

He may also order Jerich to visit the rainbow intersection weekly in order to clean.

Rand Hoch, president of the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council, told the Sun Sentinel Editorial Board that he is “not too thrilled” with the leniency of the sentence. 

Hoch believes this should be treated as a hate crime saying, “Our community has been demeaned and intimidated by the defendant’s actions.” 

“This is clearly a hate crime. It’s just not being prosecuted as such.”

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