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Police are currently investigating reports of graffiti in a men’s restroom stall at the University of Maryland, depicting images of swastikas, among other offensive phrases, in what is currently suspected of being a hate crime.

‘My gut tells me that maybe an individual is responsible for some of these.’

The images were initially found in a restroom within the Ellicott Dining Hall starting in late September, but continuing well into October. The first report was on September 28, the second was on October 7, and the third occurred two days later on October 9, according to police. The October 7 account featured a swastika and a phrase that police have deemed “offensive.” Throughout the images, reports suggested that different methods were used to create the controversial artwork: markers, spray paint, and even carvings.

Back in August, police had also reported that a “person of interest” had been connected to a similar incident involving a noose made out of plastic wrap, but there is no evidence confirming that there is any connection.

“Diversity and inclusion are core values of our institution, and these values will and must be upheld. We are currently leading forward a campus-wide action plan to combat hate and create a safer campus for all,” stated a statement from the university in response to the controversial images, according to The Baltimore Sun.

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Paul Dillon, deputy chief of police at UMBC, tried to make sense of the situation in a statement released when the most recent images were found, “Obviously if you have three [hate crimes], then when you get four you have a 33 percent increase. So the statistical significance needs to be taken with a grain of salt…It is definitely an uptick.”

With the investigation still ongoing, police are asking for information. Anyone who has any information is asked to call 301-405-3555 or email [email protected] A reward of $2,000 is even being offered for information that will bring about “the successful identification of the individual responsible for these despicable acts,” according to a statement from the University of Maryland police.

(H/T: The Washington Post)

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