BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh on Wednesday announced the Office of Attorney General received an $833,334 grant from the Department of Justice to address hate crimes in the state.
The office said Maryland has seen a sharp rise in hate crimes and bias incidents since 2016. There were 382 hate bias incidents reported by Maryland law enforcement agencies in 2020, according to the State of Maryland 2020 Hate Bias Report.READ MORE: Maryland Weather: Mild Saturday, With Temps Dropping Sunday
According to the office, the state faces challenges engaging law enforcement and community-based organizations in areas impacted by hate activity, and in securing justice for victims through prosecution.READ MORE: Health Officials Urge Vaccination & Boosters As COVID-19 Rate Rises, Omicron Arrives In Maryland
Officials said the DOJ grant will fund a three year effort to:
- enhancing community-based partnership by creating a Hate Crimes Task Force comprised of law enforcement, civil rights agencies and community-based organizations;
- develop a statewide hate crime web portal;
- conduct regional hate crime summits;
- and train law enforcement and prosecutors.
“All Maryland citizens and visitors have a right to live without fear that they will be attacked or targeted because of their race, religion, sexual orientation, or gender,” Frosh said. “This grant will allow my office to lead a comprehensive effort to train law enforcement agencies and engage partners to identify and respond to hate crimes. We will not allow hate to spread unchecked within our communities.”MORE NEWS: Maryland Has Three Confirmed Cases Of The Omicron Variant Of COVID-19, Hogan Says