Bias Motivated Incidents, 1990-1994

From 1990-1994, there were 60 bias motivated incidents reported in the Northwest Indiana. The most common type of incident was harassment (25). There also were 7 cross burnings, which generally target the homes of African Americans or Hispanics. The perpetrators burn the crosses at night, but the evidence of the crime is often not discovered until the morning when the charred remains of the cross are found by the home owners.

Some of the incidents that occurred during this time period were very violent. For example, in 1991, the Hammond home of an interracial couple was fired upon six times. One bullet broke through a window and shattered a bookend on the opposite side of the room. In 1990, a Hammond service station cashier was shot in the back of the head by a robber. The victim was shot both because he could identify the robber and because, as the robber said, “he was a nigger, and I hate niggers.” Some incidents were not single episodes, but were recurring events. For example, a Lansing golf range owned by an African American was repeatedly vandalized, starting in 1991 when it opened. In 1993, swastikas were spray painted on garbage cans and picnic tables.

Of the 60 incidents, only 13 (21.6%) occurred in Porter County while 29 (48.3%) occurred in Lake County and 18 (30.0%) occurred in other counties. Of the 18 incidents occurring in other counties, 10 occurred in Calumet City, IL and 3 occurred in Lansing, IL. This is the only time period that more incidents occured in counties other than Porter or Lake than did in Porter. As seen on the map, only 8 incidents occurred in the Valparaiso area, the least of all time periods.