State reports increase in harassment cases since election

- The Michigan Department of Civil Rights announced it has received three times the number of ethnic intimidation reports in the 10 days since the election it usually receives in an entire year.

The department says they are currently monitoring at least 30 cases throughout the state.

"A majority of them are school, college incidents that have occurred. There are some ... aimed against members of the LGBTQ community," said Agustin Arbulu, MDCR executive director.

Cases include a noose discovered at Royal Oak Middle School and a University of Michigan student being told remove her hijab or be set on fire.

"We want to keep in mind that this goes both ways -- it's not just targeting of Latinos or Arab-American students, or African American, or LGBT, it's also been directed against college students who have been in favor of president-elect Trump. And so you're seeing strong feelings and outcry on both side of the aisle," Arbulu said.

Some may rise to the level of a hate crime -- Arbulu says these incidents may go beyond freedom of speech.

"It's aimed at bullying. It's aimed at inciting violence, physical destruction of property, intimidation -- if that's what it's aimed to do then it's going too far," he said.

The MDCR is encouraging dialogue for better understanding but also encouraging schools and businesses to have policies in place to protect students and employees.

"Having anti-harassment, anti-bullying policies reviewed and in place and I would hope not only in school but in place of employment, work, we're looking at that and employers are taking an active role," Arbulu said.

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