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Bloomington Human Rights Commission Issues Hate Incidents Report

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 31, 2016

For more information, please contact:
Barbara E. McKinney, Bloomington Human Rights Commission Director, 812.349.3429, human.rights@bloomington.in.gov

Bloomington Human Rights Commission Issues Hate Incidents Report

Bloomington, Ind. - The Bloomington Human Rights Commission (BHRC), responsible for gathering data and issuing reports on local hate incidents, has released its latest report. This report includes 14 incidents from July 2015 through June 2016. The report is available for the public upon request and online at www.bloomington.in.gov/bloomington-human-rights-commission.

Barbara E. McKinney, director of the BHRC, emphasized that the number collected each year is reflective only of those incidents that were reported, which may not be a comprehensive count. She said that in the July 2012 until June 2013 reporting period, the BHRC received 15 reports; from July 2013 until June 2014, five reports, and from July, 2014 until June, 2015, eight reports.

"The report is the best gauge of hate incidents we have, but it is never possible to determine a completely accurate number," said McKinney. "We use the report to get a general sense of what is happening in the community with respect to these types of activities."

As is always the case, the hate incidents described in this report take a variety of forms, including verbal harassment, threats of physical harm, actual physical harm and vandalism. Four of the incidents described verbal slurs, two described verbal slurs and threats, two described vandalism and six described physical confrontations. McKinney said that while incidents vary in degree of severity, in each case the victim was concerned enough to reach out for help.

The report also addresses the apparent motivations behind each report. Six of the incidents were apparently motivated by racial bias, three by religious bias, four by bias against gays, lesbians or transgender individuals and one by national origin. At least five of the incidents involved intoxicated individuals.

The BHRC receives its reports from a variety of sources, including the Bloomington Police Department, news reports and individuals. People who are victims of hate incidents are urged to report the incident to the police by calling 911 or to the BHRC by calling 812-349-3429 or e-mailing human.rights@bloomington.in.gov or by going to How to Report a Hate Incident on the City's website and completing the form. The BHRC accepts anonymous reports.

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