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FBI report: Black people are No. 1 target in Indiana hate crimes

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH ) — According to the annual FBI hate crime report, African-Americans remain the most targeted victims of hate crimes in Indiana.

This year’s report showed a decrease in overall hate crimes from 2020 to 2021; however, it shows only 57% of Indiana agencies are reporting their hate crimes to the FBI.

David Goldenberg, the Midwest regional director for the Anti-Defamation League, said, “If somebody were to take this data on its face without digging into it a little bit more, they might say, ‘Oh, look, there was a decrease in the number of hate crime, so it’s not as big of a problem.’ But for those of us who live it, who breathe it, who respond to it and act on this, we know that that’s not the truth.”

Goldenberg says Indiana’s 132 hate crimes in 2021 were only one page in a bigger book. He says several agencies reported zero hate crimes, which is “possible, but not plausible.”

“There’s an enormous gap in the number of agencies who are reporting to the FBI about hate crimes,” Goldenberg said. “It doesn’t allow us to fully understand the depth and the breadth and the scope and size of this problem. We know that hate crimes have been on the rise and previously were at a 20-year high.”

While the agencies reporting hate crimes to the FBI increased from 54% to 57% from 2020 to 2021, it still follows a larger national trend of agencies that aren’t reporting. Goldenberg says it’s because of a lack of resources and training within police and sheriff’s departments.

“You need to train and educate and prepare law enforcement. You do the same thing with prosecutors. And then lastly, you need to support victims. And when you don’t do all of those things, you are leaving yourself vulnerable to allowing the problem to grow even more,” he said.

Goldenberg said it’s important to pay attention to consistent trends within the report to under the full scope. I-Team 8 found in Indiana 60% of the hate crimes were based on race, ethnicity or ancestry.

Goldenberg says the Anti-Defamation League is reaching out to agencies who reported zero hate crimes or didn’t report at all to better understand their situations and offer resources to help.