Hate finds a home in state

In Mary­land, re­ports of crimes fu­eled by bias have in­creased

Baltimore Sun Sunday - - FRONT PAGE -

Re­ports of hate crimes and other hate in­ci­dents have risen sharply in Mary­land over the past sev­eral years.

Stu­dents at Crofton Mid­dle School find a noose hang­ing in the court­yard.

In Mont­gomery County, a 13-year-old Jewish girl re­ceives sev­eral anti-Semitic texts. They say, in part, “JNTD” — an acro­nym for Jews Need to Die.

A gay man at Bal­ti­more’s Gil­mor Homes is beaten by a man yelling ho­mo­pho­bic slurs.

Army 2nd Lt. Richard Collins III, a black col­lege stu­dent from Calvert County, is con­fronted and stabbed to death on the Univer­sity of Mary­land cam­pus, al­legedly by a white stu­dent from Sev­ern who was a mem­ber of a racist Face­book group.

Re­ports of hate are on the rise in Mary­land.

Mary­land law en­force­ment agen­cies re­ceived 398 re­ports of hate or bias last year — al­leged in­ci­dents that ranged from van­dal­ism and in­tim­i­da­tion to threats and at­tacks, ac­cord­ing to the State Po­lice and hun­dreds of pages of records re­viewed by The Bal­ti­more Sun after a pub­lic in­for­ma­tion re­quest. The re­ported in­ci­dents rep­re­sented an in­crease of 35 per­cent from 2016 — and a pace of more than one re­port a day.

Au­thor­i­ties couldn’t con­firm all those re­ports, and con­cluded that a hand­ful were un­founded. But many ex­perts be­lieve the re­ports don’t be­gin to cap­ture all the in­ci­dents.

The state’s ex­pe­ri­ence echoes a na­tional in­crease in re­ported hate crimes, re­vers­ing a long, grad­ual de­cline. Mary­land broadly See HATE, page 18

SUN IN­VES­TI­GATES

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