April 20, 2021 (Indianapolis, IN) – The Sikh Coalition continues our work in response to the shooting in Indianapolis last week that killed eight people, including four members of the local Sikh community, and injured more.
New information has emerged this morning indicating that, in March of 2020, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) officers learned that the shooter had been on white supremacist websites. Accordingly, the Sikh Coalition is strongly reinforcing our initial demand that the investigation take the possibility of a bias motive seriously; read our full statement here. As of this morning, we have sent letters underscoring this point to both law enforcement officials and state and federal lawmakers. (Trigger warning: details of mass violence and hate.)
“The Sikh community will continue to demand complete transparency in this investigation,” said Satjeet Kaur, Sikh Coalition Executive Director, in the statement linked above. “We are again calling on local, state, and federal lawmakers to take seriously the possibility that the shooter specifically targeted this facility--well known to him, and well known for employing Sikhs and a diverse staff more broadly--for his deadly assault.”
A national, multiracial, and interfaith online vigil is being hosted by Revolutionary Love on Thursday, April 22, at 8 PM EST / 5 PM PST. The vigil is intended to allow all to grieve and stand in solidarity with the Sikh community one week after the mass shooting. You can RSVP to attend the vigil via Zoom here. The Sikh Coalition will continue to share information about similar memorial efforts across our social media platforms, whether they are in Indianapolis, elsewhere across the nation, or online; please email firstname.lastname@example.org if your sangat is hosting a vigil, and we will promote it on social media.
Sikh Coalition staff remain on the ground in Indianapolis to coordinate with the local sangat and will be facilitating further aid for the community, including providing mental health resources, a variety of legal resources, and assistance with community events. We also continue to engage local and national press to ensure respectful and responsible coverage of the Sikh victims and their families; we have helped to distribute statements from community members and a joint message from eight Indianapolis-area gurdwaras, and have positioned Indianapolis Sikhs for numerous interviews with local and national press. We will continue to provide further updates whenever they become available. For real-time information, please follow the Sikh Coalition on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
Finally, the Sikh Coalition urges community members across the nation to remain vigilant. In January of 2021, we updated our Gurdwara Security Toolkit; please consider reviewing this important information with your gurdwara leadership if you have not already done so.
As always, the Sikh Coalition urges you to practice your faith fearlessly.