Over 400 Reports of Hateful Harassment and Intimidation Post-Election, SPLC Says

There were over 400 incidents nationwide between Tuesday and Monday morning.

ByABC News
November 15, 2016, 6:25 PM

— -- There have been more than 400 reports of hate-based intimidation and harassment since Election Day, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).

The civil rights organization tallied 437 incidents nationwide through Monday evening, based on direct submissions and reports on social media and in the news. The number has more than doubled since the group's initial analysis on Friday. However, the majority of reports came immediately after the election.

"It's way outside of the norm," SPLC spokesperson Heidi Beirich told ABC News, noting that such a quantity of incidents usually occur over several months. "We do not see hundreds of incidents over a couple days ever. The only thing that is really analogous is the rash of hate crimes that occurred after the Brexit vote."

According to the organization's analysis, anti-immigrant, anti-black and anti-LGBTQ incidents were the most common. Harassment targeting women and the Muslim community as well as incidents involving Nazi symbolism were also highly reported, the SPLC reports. The SPLC says that many of the incidents -- but not all of them -- directly referenced President-elect Donald Trump's campaign. The organization had the highest number of reports from California (51), followed by Texas (30), Washington state (27), New York (26), and Florida (23). These findings are consistent with those reported by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

In upstate Wellsville, NY, a baseball dugout was vandalized with a swastika and the words "Make America White Again." The graffiti has since been painted over and police are investigating, according to local media. In addition, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced in a statement Saturday that State Police and the State Division of Human Rights have launched a joint investigation into the incident, calling it an alleged hate crime.

Nazi graffiti was also found painted on a building in South Philadelphia along with the words "Sieg Heil" and "Trump" with the "T" replaced by a swastika. Philadelphia police are investigating. In Rochester, NY, two rainbow flags were burned. According to the local ABC affiliate WHAM, local police are working with the Gay Alliance to investigate the acts of arson.

According to the SPLC findings, many of the incidents have occurred at universities. At the University of Pennsylvania, for example, a group of black freshman were targeted by "violent, racist and thoroughly repugnant images and messages" after being added to a GroupMe messaging account, according to school officials. The officials say the account appears to be based in Oklahoma; the president of the University of Oklahoma announced in a statement that school has suspended a student while they investigate their alleged involvement in the incident. A spokesperson for the University of Pennsylvania told ABC News that they have reached out to the FBI's cyber crimes division for assistance.

At San Diego State University, a female student wearing a hijab was robbed the day after the election by two men "who made comments about President-Elect Trump and the Muslim community," according to a statement from the University Police Department. The university president said in a statement that the robbery is being investigated as a hate crime. At San Jose State University, a female student was attacked from behind by an assailant who grabbed her hijab, choking her and causing her to fall, police said. In a separate attack, an assailant attempted to kick a student and told him to "go back to his own country," according to police. The university is investigating both incidents.

A woman wearing a hijab near the University of Michigan was forced to remove her headscarf Friday night after a man approached her and threatened to set her on fire, according to the university's crime report. Ann Arbor and university police consider the incident to be a hate crime and are investigating.

However, these incidents of harassment and intimidation have been most prevalent at K-12 schools, according to the SPLC. Middle school students in a suburb of Detroit were caught on camera chanting "build the wall" during lunchtime the day after the election. At a high school in Maple Grove, Minnesota, a bathroom stall door was found defaced with the words "White America," "Whites only" and other racial slurs. In letters to the community, the principal and superintendent have condemned the incident and said the Maple Grove Police Department is investigating.

In addition to the occurrences reported to authorities, the SPLC has documented numerous others that have been shared on social media.

The SPLC, ADL and CAIR have all called on Trump to openly condemn these hate-based incidents. The SPLC also asks that those who experience or witness harassment or intimidation report it to both law enforcement authorities and to the organization.

"We would like people to let us know if this is happening in their community," Beirich told ABC News. "This is very important to us to understand what’s happening in the country."

These incidents come amid massive protests against Trump and divisive rhetoric protesters say was espoused by his campaign.

ABC News was not able to independently verify all 437 incidents included in the SPLC report.

ABC News' Alex Hosenball, Julia Jacobo, Troy McMullen and Morgan Winsor contributed to this report.

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