BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Reports of hate and bias incidents have surged in Maryland, according to a new report from state police.
State police say close to 180 of the reports were inconclusive, meaning an investigation could not determine the motivation or whether it occurred.
the number of reports surged 40 percent last year and in Anne Arundel County, they had double the amount than the previous year.
While police say hate crimes won’t be tolerated, some believe the surge shows that more people are coming forward.
The 30-page report says there were 285 incidents last year compared to 203 in 2015.
Citizens in Baltimore, Montgomery and Anne Arundel Counties all reported the most incidents statewide.
Over the summer, two 19-year-old’s were charged with a hate crime in Anne Arundel County. They were accused of hanging a noose at a school, one of the teens recently plead guilty and was sentenced to community service.
Just days before graduation, authorities say Lt. Richard Collins III was murdered by Sean Urbanski at a College Park bus stop.
“It was completely unprovoked and he was stabbed repeatedly,” said Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angelo Alsobrooks after Urbanski was indicted.
The FBI linked Urbanski to a racist Facebook group and a grand jury recently handed down a hate crime indictment.
Reports also show that nearly a dozen of the incidents over 2016 included a reference to Donald Trump. Several of the incidents occurred around the time of the presidential election.
“From the county executive to the chief to the lowest officer in the department out on foot patrol, hate crimes will not be tolerated” said Lt. Ryan Frashure with the Anne Arundel County police.
Frashure says the numbers show that in the current climate nationwide, citizens aren’t afraid to come forward anymore, now it’s their job to protect them.
“I think it shows that we’re out in the community, improving relationships with citizens and they feel comfortable enough to come to us,” Frashure said. “We’re always working on that. We want our citizens to know that we’re going to do everything to protect them and that those who commit hate crimes will be arrested, and prosecuted to the fullest extent.”
State police say incidents toward African Americans account for 43 percent of the total.