State report says hate, bias crimes on the rise in Maryland

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — A report from state police says Maryland saw a sharp uptick in reports of hate or bias in 2017.

The Baltimore Sun reports that Maryland State Police and records obtained through a public information request indicate the state’s law enforcement agencies received 398 such reports last year, an increase of 35 percent from 2016.

The trend mirrors a national increase in reported hate crimes.

The most common incident was vandalism. Around 60 were assaults.

State or local police “verified” 46 percent of such complaints, while 52 percent were deemed “inconclusive.” That means police couldn’t determine whether the incidents were based on hate, often because they couldn’t identify the suspects. Statewide, only 2 percent were ruled unfounded.

Maryland Commission on Civil Rights Executive Director Alvin Gillard says “chronic” underreporting persists.

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Information from: The Baltimore Sun, http://www.baltimoresun.com

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