In response, the Sikh Coalition put out a press statement that reinforced that law enforcement has not done enough to provide thorough answers to the concerns or questions regarding potential bias motivation. To read that full statement,
As a reminder, the shooter chose a place known for hiring people of color, specifically a Punjabi Sikh-majority, for his attack; we don’t know why he chose this location, but we now know the attack was planned at least nine months in advance. It was also previously reported that IMPD officers previously knew of white nationalist content
on the shooter’s computer, but while the FBI agent in charge said that an “extremely small percentage” of the content found on the shooter’s computer dealt with World War II and Nazi-related content, he added that there “was no indication of any animosity against the Sikh community or any other community.” He also offered no further explanation as to what specific evidence entirely excludes bias as a potential factor.
To reiterate, the Sikh Coalition does not dismiss the shooter’s reported mental health issues nor the toxic masculinity discussed during the press conference. However, we believe that it is important for law enforcement to acknowledge that bias may still be a factor in these sorts of attacks in addition to these other issues. Further, all too often, bias-motivated crimes are overlooked or not prosecuted because of mixed motives--leading, in part, to the undercounting of hate crimes and bias incidents that affect our and other communities.
“Though law enforcement have said this investigation is now over, for all the families who lost loved ones, the survivors, the Sikh community, and anyone else impacted by hate violence, these questions will remain,” said Sikh Coalition Legal Director Amrith Kaur. “We believe that the IMPD and FBI could have provided more information about how and why they ruled bias out, and been far more forthcoming and transparent about relevant details during this press conference and throughout the course of their investigation.”
The Sikh Coalition remains committed to supporting the Indianapolis Sikh community, including through representing a number of clients who have retained our legal services. We also continue to collect and distribute victim services information to survivors and the families of those who lost loved ones; you can access these resources for free
on our website. Along with the rest of the Sikh community across the nation, we continue to mourn the eight lives lost and all those affected by the tragedy in Indianapolis.
As always, the Sikh Coalition urges you to practice your faith fearlessly.