FedEx shooting: Police rule out hate crime, community disappointed

On July 28 the Indianapolis Metro Police Department (IMPD) and other law enforcement agencies held a press conference to announce the conclusion of their investigation into the deadly April 15 shooting at the FedEx ground facility in Indianapolis. Per IMPD Deputy Chief Craig McCartt, the investigation has reviewed “every piece of information available;” according to FBI Special Agent in Charge Paul Keenan, the authorities have determined that this shooting was “an act of suicidal murder” not driven by any particular ideology. 

In a statement Amrith Kaur, Sikh Coalition Legal Director said, “For months, we have asked local and federal law enforcement for a thorough and transparent investigation of this horrific attack–including their best effort to attempt to understand the shooter’s motive. While we recognize that it is impossible to know exactly what was in the shooter’s mind, we are disappointed that the IMPD and FBI still have not detailed how they ruled out bias as a possible motive in their accounting of the investigation.” 

“The shooter chose a place known for hiring people of color, specifically a Punjabi Sikh-majority, for his attack; we don’t know why he chose this location, but we now know the attack was planned at least nine months in advance. It was also previously reported that IMPD officers knew of white nationalist content on the shooter’s computer during their investigation of his home a year before the shooting, yet this went unaddressed in the press conference until a reporter asked about it; SAIC Keenan recognized that an ‘extremely small percentage’ of the content found on the shooter’s computer dealt with World War II and Nazi-related content, but rather than address the obvious interest in that ideology, he said there ‘was no indication of any animosity against the Sikh community or any other community.”

“To reiterate, we are not dismissing that mental health issues nor the toxic masculinity discussed during the press conference played a role in this attack. But it is important to recognize that bias can be a factor in addition to these other issues. We still believe that the IMPD and FBI could have provided more information about how and why they ruled bias out, and been far more forthcoming and transparent about relevant details during this press conference and throughout the course of their investigation. Though law enforcement has said this investigation is over, for all the families who lost loved ones, the survivors, the Sikh community, and anyone else impacted by hate violence, these questions will remain forever.”

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