IN Focus: Local advocacy group fighting for hate crime law

INDIANAPOLIS - In an interview recorded Friday before the tragic events in Charlottesville, we sit down with State Sen. Greg Taylor (D-Indianapolis) and two local advocates to discuss the push for a hate crime law in Indiana, an effort that has ended in failure in recent years at the Statehouse.

The FBI tracks hate crimes nationwide, and in a report released late last year, 63 hate crimes were reported in Indiana in 2015.

Those numbers, though, could be higher since a recent Associated Press analysis found more than half of Indiana police agencies have failed to file hate crime reports with the FBI. The AP analysis looked at FBI reports between 2009 and 2014.

Indiana is one of five states without a hate crime law- and supporters of a new law say they will keep pressuring Republican leadership to act.

“That’s controversial legislation,” said House Speaker Brian Bosma ahead of last year's session. “There’s some concern about prosecuting people for what they’re thinking, not for what they’re doing."

Taylor says he plans on filing legislation again in next year's session.

Meantime, the Central Indiana Alliance Against Hate (CIAAH) is holding its inaugural Indiana Response to Hate Conference this coming Thursday, August 17th.

In the video above, the group's organizer Amy Nelson joins Sen. Taylor and David Sklar from the Indiana Jewish Community Relations Council to discuss next week's event.