BALTIMORE, MD – Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh today released the following statement, announcing his office’s 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 LGBT 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.
“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. Discrimination and sexual harassment in the workplace, as well as cyber bullying and intimidation online, are also prohibited by state law.
“As Attorney General, I am committed to working with local law enforcement, state and county governments, our local school systems, higher education systems, and communities to enforce these laws. 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. The number is1-866-481-8361. Complaints of student harassment or bullying should be made directly to the school, college or university.
I believe the current state of affairs presents not only a challenge, but an opportunity. Neighborhood by neighborhood, we can declare that justice, fairness and tolerance are not partisan principles, but keystones of America’s character.”