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Frosh launches Maryland hate crime hotline

The office of Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh has received a dozen reports of hate speech in the week since he asked people to report such incidents.

Frosh launched the hate speech hotline this month after several incidents were reported following the election of Donald Trump. He warned that "Maryland is not immune" to a national "outbreak" of hate incidents targeting racial minorities, Muslims, Jews, immigrants and LGBT people.

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The Southern Poverty Law Center counted 701 incidents of "hateful harassment" across the country in the week after Election Day. The organization counted 27 anti-Trump incidents in the same period.

In Maryland, there have been reports of harassment and bullying at schools. A church in Silver Spring that displayed a banner advertising Spanish-language services was vandalized with graffiti that read "white power" and "Trump nation."

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Frosh, a Democrat, spoke of an "upwelling" in reports of intolerant conduct. He said such incidents can be criminal, and encouraged victims in Maryland to report them to local law enforcement.

He said calls made to his office on the hotline (1-866-481-8361) would be referred to local officials.

His office has received 12 calls in the week since then, spokeswoman Christine Tobar said.

Republican Gov. Larry Hogan acknowledged last week that "some things are happening across the state." But he said the only act of violence he's heard about involved a Trump supporter getting beaten up.

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A 15-year-old wearing a "Make American Great Again" hat was attacked at a Rockville high school last week while students protested Trump's victory.

"We would not like to see any hate crimes on either side of this issue," Hogan said Monday.

Trump has urged those committing hate crimes to "stop it."

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