Bias Motivated Incidents, 1995-1999

Between 1995 and 1999, 58 bias motivated incidents were reported in Northwest Indiana. As indicated in Figure 2.1, the most common type of incident was again harassment (14). However, there were sharp increases in swastika graffiti (10) and discrimination (8). There were also 5 cross burnings and 4 incidents of KKK activity, whereas there were no incidents of KKK activity in the previous time period. In one incident of KKK activity, KKK members wearing white robes vandalized the home of an interracial couple, using clubs, baseball bats, rocks, and bricks, to break widows. There was also one attempted murder during this period. In 1996, two teenagers in Crown Point attempted to kill three Hispanic men by blocking them in the house and setting the house on fire.

Compared to the incidents from 1990-1994, significantly more incidents took place in Porter County. 20 incidents (34.5%) occurred in Porter County in this time period, while 32 incidents (55.2%) occurred in Lake County. The number of incidents occurring in the Valparaiso area more than doubled from the number occuring in 1990-1994. Most of the additional incidents in Valparaiso were swastika graffiti. In one incident, a man’s house was covered in swastika graffiti and racial slurs. The owner’s truck was also severely vandalized, and sugar was poured in the gas tank. As indicated in Map 2, the concentration of incidents in the Merrillville area also increased from 1990-1994 to 1995-1999.