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Over a dozen bullets fired at Indianapolis home could be considered a hate crime

Man believes he was racially or religiously targeted
Posted at 6:40 PM, Aug 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-31 16:13:44-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Fourteen bullets shot at a south side Indianapolis home is believed to be racially or religiously motivated by the homeowner.

It was just after 4 a.m. Thursday when bullets went shooting at the home.

"Just as I stood up, boom boom boom. These shots," the homeowner said. "And I heard an explosion."

One bullet went through the window and into the wall. The others ricocheted off the brick exterior.

The explosion the homeowner heard was the insulating gas in between the window panes.

He says once he realized what had happened, he immediately hit the floor and crawled to the front window.

On Saturday afternoon, the Council on American-Islamic Relations called for the incident on be investigated as a possible hate crime.

“There is a toxic atmosphere of othering promoted by our nation’s top elected and public officials that often leads individuals to act on their biases,” said CAIR National Communications Coordinator Ayan Ajeen said. “Because of this, we urge local, state and federal law enforcement authorities to treat these incidents as possibly bias-motivated attacks.”

Unfortunately, this isn't the first time this couple has been terrorized.

Last fall, their yard sign that says, "We stand with American Muslims" was damaged.

"I came home one evening, and the yard sign had been vandalized," the homeowner said. "Beer bottles, trash had been thrown at it."

"As I cut my grass over the course of time, I am addressed with the N-word," the homeowner described what has occurred on several occasions. "People yell the N-word, and they throw objects from their car at me."

"Someone is out to hurt, or injure, or kill myself or a family member. There's very little doubt in my mind on that," he said.

Indiana's Hate Crime Law, passed just this year, includes aggravated sentencing for bias-motivated crimes. Meaning judges can impose harsher sentences for crimes proven to be motivated by bias.

The law covers color, creed, disability, national origin, race, religion and sexual orientation under Indiana's "reporting statute," but was, however, heavily criticized by Democrats for not covering age, sex, or gender identity.

"We need to have a message," Michael Saahir imam, Nur-Allah Islamic Center, said. "Our leaders and our state that this is a crime that will be punished and to have the conversation say, 'well there's language already existing, that language is not strong enough.'"

"I have always been of the thought that I could always come home and leave the world outside," the homeowner said. "But now the evils of the world appear to be intruding upon my sanctity."

In this case, it appears it could be considered a hate crime since race or religion seem to be the issue. However, somebody would first have to be convicted of the crime, since Indiana's law only covers sentencing.

If you have any information about this call Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS.

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