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Gov. Larry Hogan Announces Enhanced Visibility Patrols To Protect Asian-Owned Businesses In Maryland

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Howard County officials also announced the burglaries at four Asian owned businesses in the county back in February will now be investigated as "hate bias" incidents.

Video Transcript

DENISE KOCH: New developments tonight in a string of burglaries in Howard County. Police are now classifying them as hate bias incidents. This comes as Governor Hogan is putting pressure on law enforcement after a national rise in violence against Asian-Americans.

Ava-joye Burnett is live tonight and was there today as the governor visited a few of those businesses. Ava-joye?

AVA-JOYE BURNETT: Hi. Good evening, Denise. Well, the Governor is calling on police to step up their patrols in many of these areas. And this visit today happened along Korean Way. It's a 5-mile stretch in Howard County where there are more than 100 Korean businesses.

The First Lady told us it's not about any particular group, it's about everyone coming together. Moments after Governor Larry Hogan and First Lady Yumi Hogan visited Asian-owned businesses along Korean Way in Ellicott City, Howard County officials announced the burglaries at four Asian-owned businesses in the County back in February will now be investigated as hate bias incidents.

GOVERNOR LARRY HOGAN: We are pushing law enforcement and prosecutors at every level of government to vigorously investigate all hate crime allegations.

FIRST LADY YUMI HOGAN: As a proud citizen of this country, we shouldn't be afraid.

AVA-JOYE BURNETT: The Governor's visit comes days after a mass shooting in Georgia left eight people dead, including six Asian women. At this point, police have not classified that as a hate crime.

And last month here in Howard County, six businesses were burglarized. Four were Asian-owned.

- [NON-ENGLISH]-- we feel very scared. We just worry that one day our-- my restaurant will be broken in.

AVA-JOYE BURNETT: Since the start of the pandemic, violence against Asian-Americans jumped. One group tracked 3,795 cases nationally and 51 incidents here in Maryland. Governor Hogan says he's calling on police to immediately step up their visibility to help these groups.

GOVERNOR LARRY HOGAN: I am sickened by the racism that my wife and daughters and their friends have had to contend with throughout their lives.

AVA-JOYE BURNETT: And Howard County Police say they've now appointed a full time officer to be a liaison for the Asian-American community. And one more thing, no one has been arrested for those burglaries. Live tonight at 6, Ava-joye Burnett for WJZ.