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State lawmakers still hopeful for hate crime law

Posted at 11:08 PM, Mar 02, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS -- State legislators said Wednesday they hope there's still time to pass a statewide hate crime law.

Indiana is one of five states without hate crime laws, and supporters Wednesday questioned how serious the state is about protecting minority rights.

Over the weekend, vandals spray painted obscenities on Plainfield's Islamic Society of North America. Last month, an 18-year-old Chinese exchange student at Brown County High School was attacked with a hatchet by a suspect who told police that he was a white supremacist motivated by ethnic cleansing.

With just days left in the legislative session, supporters of the bill are still hopeful for a law to protect all citizens from crimes motivated by hate.

"It's not for a group of individuals. It's for our entire state," Rep. Greg Porter (D-District 96) said. "Being one of five states that doesn't have one … what kind of message are we continuing to send?"

The superintendent of Brown County Schools said the exchange student has returned to school and is doing as well as can be expected.

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