Statement from State's Attorney Anne Colt Leitess on Violence Against Asian Americans
Annapolis, Md. - As the nation faces a sudden surge of violent attacks against Asian Americans, State’s Attorney Anne Colt Leitess denounces racist incidents and targeted assaults of Asian Americans within our own community and beyond. The Office of the State’s Attorney for Anne Arundel County will aggressively prosecute all hate crimes against Asian Americans and other members of our community.
Some Maryland jurisdictions have experienced a measurable increase in hate crimes or hate bias incidents against Asian Americans but Anne Arundel County has not seen an uptick in those offenses. Recent statistics show that since 2018 there have been three reported cases of anti-Asian American hate crimes or hate bias incidents in our county.
State’s Attorney Anne Colt Leitess said, “While the number of offenses in our county is low compared to neighboring jurisdictions our citizens must know that we will not tolerate hate crimes and hate bias incidents. It is important for citizens to report these incidents to police. I applaud the Anne Arundel County Police policy of responding to all reported hate incidents, even those that may not be chargeable criminal offenses.”
Asian Americans have become victims of senseless acts of harassment and violence fueled by bigotry and hatred even as we are gripped by a global pandemic in which hundreds of thousands of lives have been lost in the US alone, and hundreds of millions are impacted worldwide by COVID-19. Individuals and groups who commit unprovoked acts of violence in Anne Arundel County, whether racially-driven or otherwise, will be held fully accountable for their crimes.
State’s Attorney Anne Colt Leitess thanks Gov. Larry Hogan for calling out these despicable and cowardly acts. She stands with our elected officials and community leaders against hate. We must not tolerate members of our community living in fear for their lives or livelihoods.
The only way to fight hate is to shine a light on it. We must know about hate incidents for us to take action. If you or someone you know is a victim of hate bias or a hate crime incident, we encourage you to contact the Anne Arundel County Police Department at 911 or complete an online crime report.