July 13, 2020
No Space for Hate supports Vauhxx Booker in his fight for justice. We condemn local government’s failure to take any action, including Governor Holcomb and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, who have yet to arrest the perpetrators of the vile assault against Mr. Booker. We also decry the absence of effective Indiana hate crimes legislation. This disinterest in addressing dangerous crimes when they are motivated by racism, and the subsequent failure to protect the community is part of a wider pattern of systemic racism in government. We are calling on Bloomington, along with the entire country, to stand up against the outrageous injustice that Mr. Booker experienced, and the further insult he endures each day our government fails to arrest his attackers.
We condemn any attempts to victim-blame. Across the internet and our community, we have seen a number of disturbing stories describing the incident as either fabricated or exaggerated. These narratives seek to discredit Mr. Booker and his experiences. Efforts to cast Mr. Booker as somehow deserving of what had happened to him are shameful, and they reflect poorly on our community. We encourage members of the community and other organizations to speak out against these narratives when you hear them.
We support Mr. Booker’s call to contact the US Attorney’s Office for our district and demand a Grand Jury investigation. Here is a message from his lawyer, Katharine Liell, explaining this call to action:
“Today we called upon the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana to empanel a grand jury to investigate hate crimes from Indianapolis to the River Ohio. We demand citizen jurors be permitted to participate in hate crime investigations. Only the United States Attorney’s office has a civil rights division. Only the United States Attorney can investigate and enforce the hate crimes law. Only the United States Attorney can cast a wide enough net to investigate the emboldened bigots attacking our black and brown friends and family. Enough is Enough!”
Josh Minkler, United States Attorney
US Attorney’s Office, Southern Indiana
10 West Market St, Suite 2100
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Voice: (317) 226-6333
Toll-Free: (888) 368-5067
TTY: (317) 226-5438
Fax: (317) 226-6125