BALTIMORE (WJZ) — FBI Baltimore announced Wednesday it is launching an awareness campaign to bring attention to hate crimes, which are historically underreported.

The awareness campaign will consist of digital billboards, flyers, and ads on buses, social media and radio throughout Maryland and Delaware. The bureau has seen an increase in reported hate crimes in recent , but said it wants more victims of hate crimes to report

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The FBI defines hate crimes as criminal acts motivated by the offender’s bias against characteristics like race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity.

“Over the last five years, there’s been a 25 percent increase in reported hate crimes, even still, the vast majority of these crimes are going underreported and that needs to change. The FBI can help, but only if we know about the crime. That’s why we are spreading the word with this campaign,” said Thomas J. Sobocinski, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Baltimore Field Office. “Violent acts motivated by hate have no place in our society. Every person has the right to live without fear of violence or intimidation and we will continue to hold those accountable whose hate-filled aggression violates the civil rights of another individual.”

The FBI said a 2020 Hate Crime Report found that in Maryland, 68% of reported bias incidents were race or ethnicity-motivated. Of those, victims who were perceived as black were the most targeted, according to the report.

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Sexual orientation was the motivator in about 18% of reported incidents in the state, and religion was the motivator in 13% of reported cases. Of religion-motivated cases, victims perceived as Jewish were the most targeted.

The FBI will advertise on a variety of platforms and mediums:

  • Digital billboards (by Lamar) running in Silver Spring, Md. and Wilmington, De.
  • Bus Ads (MTA and Ride On) in Baltimore City and Montgomery County
  • Radio Ads (in English and Spanish – La Raza(AM/FM)/Maxima 95.3/Maxima 104.1/ Streaming platforms – Audacy/Pandora/SiriusXM/iHeartRadio)
  • BWI Digital Ads
  • Social Media Ads (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter)
  • Flyers at Local Markets

To report a potential federal hate crime violation, contact the FBI at one of the national tipline options: 1-800-CALL-FBI or tips.fbi.gov.

 

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