A sixth-grade boy named Joshua Trump who has been bullied at school because of his last name is among several people invited by President Donald Trump and his wife, Melania, to the State of the Union on Tuesday.
The sixth-grader made headlines last year when his parents began sharing stories of the ridicule they said their son faced for his last name. His parents, Megan Trump and Bobby Berto, told news outlets they homeschooled Joshua for a year because of the bullying, which they said started when Trump’s presidential campaign began.
In Maryland, Trump’s name or other references to him came up at least 16 times in hate or bias incidents reported to police in 2016 and 2017 (the most recent years data were available), according to police reports.
They were among 693 hate crimes and incidents reported to police during that period, nearly double the number from the previous two years. None of the incidents mentioned other presidential candidates, but two did include disparaging comments about former President Barack Obama.
Of the 16 incidents mentioning Trump, nine were classified as inconclusive, meaning police could not determine whether the incidents were based on hate. That was often because authorities weren’t able to identify suspects to determine whether they had a bias motivation.
Six were classified as verified, meaning the incidents were determined to have been motivated by hate or bias. Among those cases, two people were arrested. Police can rule something a verified hate incident without charging someone with a crime.
One incident was ruled unfounded — that is, police determined it did not happen or was not motivated by hate.
Hate crimes and incidents are underreported, according to police federal officials. The Baltimore Sun found dozens of hate incidents that went unreported to police or reported to other authorities. For example, April Lewis, executive director of school safety in Baltimore County, told The Sun that in the three months after the 2016 presidential election, she received 42 reports of hate-related bullying and harassment, the most she has seen in a three-month period.
Lewis said schools responded to the reports on a case-by-case basis, providing counseling and in some cases, reporting to police.
Below are the incidents across the state mentioning Trump that were reported to police. All the following information is according to police reports.
Aug. 12, 2016: [Expletive] Obama, [Expletive] Trump graffiti, Prince George’s County
A 16-year-old white boy spray-painted graffiti with the following words on a 64-year-old Latino man’s vehicle: "MS-13, Viva La Russia, [Expletive] Obama, [Expletive] Trump, I Love Alie, and KKK.” The graffiti also included another expletive and a racial slur. Prince George’s County police ruled the incident as verified and arrested the boy.
Oct. 3, 2016: "You're all gonna have to leave once Trump wins," Anne Arundel County
Over a month, a white 11-year-old boy allegedly repeatedly called two 13-year-old African American boys a racial slur and made derogatory remarks toward them, such as "You're all gonna have to leave once Trump wins" and “You are on food stamps. That's why you can afford nice shoes and clothes." Anne Arundel County Police classified the incident as inconclusive.
Oct. 31, 2016: “White bastard” and “Donald Trump,” Harford County
A 13-year-old African-American girl allegedly called a 38-year-old white man a "white bastard" and "Donald Trump." The Harford County Sheriff’s Office classified the incident as inconclusive.
Nov. 10, 2016: "Make America white again,” Harford County
A 23-year-old African-American woman reported finding a letter on her car with "Make America white again" written on it and swastikas drawn in each corner. The alleged offender was never found and the Harford County Sheriff's Office classified the incident as inconclusive.
Nov. 10, 2016, “TRUMP RULE,” Howard County middle school
The words "TRUMP RULE" and a swastika were written on a wall in a girls’ bathroom at Murray Hill Middle School. Howard County Police classified the incident as inconclusive.
Nov. 12, 2016: “Remember we have a new president now,” Baltimore County
After three Comcast technicians left business cards on residents’ doors in Baltimore County, they allegedly received the following text messages: "Monkey Boy"; "Well [your] name is Muslim"; "N----- boy"; "white power”; "you some dumb [expletive] terrorist who need to be dealt with, remember we have a new president now"; "good morning porch money terrorist [expletive]"; and "don't bring your Bin Laden Terrorist monkey ass in here any more,” followed by a racial slur. The alleged offender was unknown and Baltimore County police classified the incident as inconclusive.
Nov. 12, 2016: “Trump Nation Whites only,” Montgomery County church
The words "Trump Nation Whites only" were allegedly written on the back of a banner outside a church with a largely Hispanic congregation. There was also something written on an inside wall of the church that was not legible. Montgomery County police classified the incident as inconclusive.
Nov. 13, 2016: Man threatens neighbor, Montgomery County
A 37-year-old Hispanic man said he observed his neighbor, a 33-year-old white man, walking in his driveway and asked him, "Can I help you?" The 33-year-old allegedly pointed a handgun at the Hispanic man and said he was going to kill him and his family. The man also allegedly shouted that he voted for Donald Trump and that the Hispanic man needed to leave the country. The neighbors reportedly had had many previous disputes. The Montgomery County police ruled the incident as verified and arrested the 33-year-old.
Nov. 22, 2016: Swastikas with comment about Trump, Montgomery County high school
Two swastikas with a comment about Trump were allegedly painted on a table. The Montgomery County police classified the incident as inconclusive.
Dec. 6, 2016: Swastika and Donald Trump, Howard County park
Officials found numerous swastikas on playground equipment as well as the park’s cement area. There were numerous other derogatory references in relation to Trump, and a swastika and “Donald Trump” were painted on the footpath and nature preserve sign. Howard County police classified it as inconclusive.
Dec. 8, 2016: Trump bumper sticker damaged, Towson University
An 18-year-old African-American allegedly damaged a Trump bumper sticker on a vehicle owned by a 19-year-old white man. Towson University police ruled the incident as unfounded.
Dec. 13, 2016: “Trump will take care of all these [racial slur],” Howard County
An African-American 17-year-old allegedly assaulted a white 16-year-old because he heard him say "Trump will take care of” black people, using a racial slur while wearing a Trump shirt. Howard County police ruled the incident as inconclusive.
Jan. 25, 2017: "Kill the Jews,” "Trump 2016", "[Expletive] Jews," Baltimore County public park
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Graffiti was spray-painted on the front of a bathroom building and on a sidewalk in a public park, including phrases such as "Kill the Jews,” "Trump 2016,” "[Expletive] Jews,” "I heart 9/11,” "all cops are bastards" and a racial slur. Swastikas and cartoon faces were also spray-painted. Baltimore County police classified the incident as inconclusive.
May 4, 2017: Racial slur and "Trump" carved into the playground equipment, Baltimore County public school
A public school's building supervisor reported that two swastikas, a cross and a racial slur were drawn in the mulch of the playground, and a racial slur plus "Trump" carved into the playground equipment. The words "to hell" were carved into the playground sign. Police reviewed video footage of the incident and interviewed suspects. One suspect, identified as a 17-year-old white boy, said, "It was funny to offend people. People are so easily offended and need to be exposed to this stuff." Baltimore County Police classified the incident as verified.
June 6, 2017: “Trump is God,” Montgomery County
Graffiti that used a racial slur and said "Trump is God" was spray painted on a basketball court within a housing development. Montgomery County police classified the incident as verified.
Oct. 9, 2017: Racist graffiti on university computer, University of Maryland, Eastern Shore
An expletive directed at black people using a racial slur and the phrases “[Expletive] Jews,” [Expletive UMES] and “Make America Great Again” were written in pen on a computer monitor at the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore, a historically black university. UMES police classified the incident as verified.