Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh released a statement on Nov. 17 announcing the launch of a hotline to report hate crimes in Maryland.
“Over the last week, reports of hate incidents directed at racial and ethnic minorities, Muslims, Jews, women, immigrants, and the (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community have increased. Sadly, Maryland is not immune to this outbreak, and it is important to remember that our laws prohibit this kind of conduct and provide protection from it,” says the statement.
“Persons engaging in conduct motivated by a victim’s race, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, religion, sexual orientation, disability or homeless status, risk civil liability or criminal prosecution under Maryland’s civil rights and hate crimes statutes. Students engaging in bullying, harassment and intimidation in grades K-12 or at institutions of higher education could be subject to disciplinary action under the student code of conduct for the local school system, college or university.” The statement also includes discrimination and sexual harassment in the workplace as well as cyberbullying.
“I urge anyone who believes they have been a victim of unlawful harassment or intimidation to first notify local law enforcement, the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights (MCCR) or your local human rights agency. My office has also established a hotline to report these incidents and make referrals to local law enforcement for further investigation when appropriate.”
Incidents should be reported by calling 1-866-481-8361.
Frosh, according to the Baltimore Sun, blamed President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign rhetoric on race, religion, disability and sexual orientation for helping to unleash what’s “obviously becoming a problem all over the place.”