IBLC: State Senate has failed Indiana by not passing a bias crimes bill

January 30, 2018 Cherrish Pryor, IBLC

INDIANAPOLIS – State Rep. Cherrish Pryor (D-Indianapolis), chair of the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus (IBLC), today issued the following statement after the Indiana Senate killed efforts to pass a bias crimes bill during the 2018 session of the Indiana General Assembly by refusing to take a vote on Senate Bill 418 in the Senate Corrections & Criminal Law Committee:

“Today, the people of Indiana were let down.

“The Indiana Senate has made it clear that it does not matter if a person is harmed because their attackers were upset that they had a different race, color, creed, disability, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender, or gender identity. They will not get the justice they deserve because some in the Senate cannot face their responsibility to protect all Hoosiers. They prefer to delay and put off decisions until another day.

“How many more people will be harmed while they dawdle? Will it require our own version of Charlottesville before those in power will be compelled to finally act?

“Bias crimes legislation sends a clear message that communities deserve justice for the evil acts of a prejudiced few. Polling indicates that the people of this state support a law of this type by a large margin.

“But none of that matters. Indiana remains one of only five states in this country that does not see the need for a hate crimes law.

“We are elected to make the hard decisions and take the lead in protecting all Hoosiers. IBLC members have worked on hate crimes legislation for years. We were hoping that all of our colleagues would join in that effort this year.

“This is a shameful day, but the IBLC believes we will win this fight eventually. Our cause is just, and we will prevail.”