Sunday, November 30, 2008

Someone Else Finally Notices

More than a year ago, I first reported that Indianapolis and Marion County had stopped compiling and reporting hate crime statistics for the FBI, which contributed to a decrease in the reported number of hate crimes in Indiana. Finally, someone in the mainstream media has taken notice. The Star's Dan Carpenter laments the lack of reporting in a column today about hate crimes in the wake of the apparent hate crime killing of an elderly Indianapolis gay couple, which IMPD refused to even consider a hate crime:

Civil rights activists, gays in particular, have redoubled efforts for an Indiana hate crimes law since the October murders of Eric Hendricks and Milton Lindgren, who had previously reported vandalism and the nailing of an anti-gay slur to their front door. Police are not calling the killings a hate crime because, they say, the man under arrest had mercenary motives. Advocates aren't buying that; especially since the earlier report of harassment wasn't logged as a hate crime either. Indeed, Sgt. Matthew Mount, spokesman for the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, says IMPD doesn't track hate crimes because the definition is "subjective" and the responsibility is federal.

And yet, state law requires hate crime reporting. Just ask advocates how that's working out.
Marion Co. Prosecutor Carl Brizzi has advocated at the State House for bias crimes legislation, which would allow evidence that a crime against a person or property was motivated by an offender's bias against the victim's race, sex, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion or national origin to support an enhanced sentence for the crime. It is perplexing that he has stood by silently as IMPD undermines his own efforts by refusing to even acknowledge that such bias occurs in the commission of crimes. Even more perplexing has been the complete lack of outrage from civil rights group over IMPD's actions.


Wilson46201 said...

Isn't Mayor Greg Ballard responsible now for IMPD?

Anonymous said...

Yet Mitch Daniels helped President Bush violate the United States Constitution with the REAL ID (Federal ID) Act, and spent $39 million of state money to suck up to President Bush.

Wonder why your new Drivers License looks so different? Cause it's also your Federal ID now, like it or love it.

Yet when real violations of the constitution's Equal Protection clause, Establishment Clause, or Indiana's own statute is being violated, Daniels and his cronies throughout the state conveniently pretend they don't exist.

Guess what... If someone burned down a church or shoots a preacher, watch how quick that becomes a "hate crime".

Gary R. Welsh said...

Mayor Peterson's admininstration made the decision to stop reporting hate crimes. Ballard has not changed that policy. And your point is , Wilson?

I have no idea what The Almighty's point is.

Anonymous said...

My point is that the state only enforces the hate crimes bill when it's a "protected group" that they actually like.

I'd assume, with the way these things work, that they'd have more incentive to report hate crimes so they can milk the Feds for more money to enforce the statute with.

But ever since Daniels took office, nothing in this state makes sense, so I've given up trying to figure out the hows and whys of it all.

My point with Real ID was, he helped violate the constitution in complying with an unconstitutional law and spent $39 million Indiana taxpayer dollars doing it, but if you asked him why our own hate crimes bill isn't enforced, he'd probably tell you it was a funding issue.

Ted said...

On Dec 5 the Supreme Court will either allow or disallow the usurpation of both the Constitution and the Government of the United States — easily the most pivotal decision since our nation’s founding — and the silence of the news media is deafening (if not downright scary).

artfuggins said...

Brizzi wouldn't prosecute a hate crime if there was a law. He doesn't prosecute anything...he just lets them languish until no one remembers.

Unknown said...

The Real ID act and Indiana's requirement to show a legit ID are not only legal, they are common sense approaches to a scourge of vote fraud by Democrats.

As for hate crimes, while I support rights for all including the right of gay people to marry, hate crime legislation is an exercise in mind control. Under hate crime legislation, it's even possible for something that isn't a crime - burning a certain religious book - to be labeled a hate crime.

There are 10,000 real crimes committed inside IPS schools for every "hate crime". How come no stampede to make IPS report the real violent nature of that gulag ?

Anonymous said...

The requirement to show ID isn't what I was arguing against, and there has never been any voter fraud in Indiana, not one documented case (And it's funny the Republicans are never worried about "vote fraud" in Republican-leaning districts and had all their allegations thrown out as "baseless" by 5 different judges in this election).

I would have issue with the ID requirement being a poll tax, but the state will give you a free ID if you need it, so I'm OK with it.

REAL ID on the other hand, is some stupid post-9/11 scare the crap out of everyone/feel good nonsense that establishes a mandatory federal ID, eventually if you don't have your federal ID you won't be able to board a plane, open a bank account, or ENTER a government building.

It is unconstitutional simply because it requires the state to comply, if the state had the option, it would be constitutionally legal.

The Bill of Rights affirms the state has the ability to refuse to participate, therefore this is an unconstitutional federal power grab.

(And most Democrats signed off on Real ID too)

I never said I agree with Hate Crime laws either, all I said was that they are being applied subjectively, I believe the optimal solution would be to give the just more wide ranging discretion in violent crimes and crimes of vandalism in general.