Hate crimes must never be tolerated

True hate crimes are not as common as some would have us believe — but when they do occur, swift, severe punishment ought to be meted out.

Last week, a federal judge in Cincinnati sentenced Izmir Koch, 34, to 2 1/2 years in prison because he lied to the FBI and violated the federal hate crimes statute.

In February 2017, Koch was with a group of people outside a Cincinnati restaurant when he belligerently demanded to know if anyone present was Jewish. A man said he was, though it later developed he was not, but had Jewish friends and family members.

Koch and some with him attacked the man, hospitalizing him with serious injuries. “I want to kill all of the Jews,” Koch shouted.

He could have been sent to prison for 10 years. Let us hope the only reason that did not happen was a pledge from Koch to aid authorities in prosecuting others who attacked the man.

This is America: We don’t tolerate hate crime.