Baltimore Sun database of police reports details acts of anti-Semitism in Maryland

Members of the Jewish community in the Baltimore region and across the nation have expressed shock and grief over the shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue that left 11 dead on Saturday.

They fear anti-Semitic acts that are showing up with other hate crimes with alarming frequency across Maryland.

Last year, Maryland law enforcement agencies received 398 reports of hate or bias — alleged incidents that ranged from vandalism and intimidation to threats and attacks, according to an investigation by The Baltimore Sun.

The reported incidents represented an increase of 35 percent from 2016 — and a pace of more than one report a day.

An investigation by Baltimore Sun reporter Catherine Rentz examined all of the nearly 700 reports filed over two years. The Sun built a database from the reports, which were made to local authorities and collected by the Maryland State Police.

The records show that Jews were the second-highest targeted group of hate crimes, after African-Americans, with 78 incidents over the past two years.

There were 40 verified acts of anti-Semitism in 2016 and 2017, according to The Sun’s investigation. Here’s a sample of what’s been reported:

  • July 2017: In Montgomery County, someone sent letters to the home and work of a woman that contained anti-Jewish references.
  • February 2017: In Montgomery County, a Jewish school received a bomb threat from an automated phone call, which also mentioned “the lives of Jewish souls.” The FBI has taken over this investigation.
  • January 2017: On the campus of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, suspects targeted Jewish faculty and staff by going through a university building to deface papers and posters on the professors’ doors.
  • January 2017: In Montgomery County, someone called in a bomb threat to the Jewish Community Center. No bomb was located.
  • May 2016: In Anne Arundel County, a young Jewish girl received numerous text messages with anti-Semitic comments praising the Holocaust and Hitler.
  • May 2016: In an Anne Arundel County high school, students drew anti-Semitic images and words on paper plates then displayed them on social media.

ddonovan@baltsun.com

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