Emerging Information Leads Sikh Community to Reinforce Urgent Demand that Authorities Investigate Possible Bias Motive in Indianapolis Shooting
April 20, 2021 (Indianapolis, IN) — Today, the Sikh Coalition sent letters to law enforcement officials and state and federal lawmakers clearly expressing the continuing and urgent need to investigate the possibility of a bias motivation in Brandon Scott Hole’s April 15 shooting at an Indianapolis FedEx facility.
Per the letter to local and federal law enforcement, “A complete and thorough investigation – including determining the motives behind this attack and any connection Mr. Hole has to hate and white supremacy groups – is essential to providing justice and building trust between the Sikh community and local and federal law enforcement. A full and transparent recitation of those facts is also necessary to maintaining that trust moving forward. The reality is, even if Mr. Hole was a disgruntled employee due to the fact that Sikh employees were getting more hours than him or for any other reason, it is essential to connect the dots of all of his activities leading up to this tragic attack to fully understand the role racism, xenophobia, and white supremacy may have played in his alleged anger toward his former employer.” For reporting purposes, the content of the letter is attributable to Amrith Kaur, Sikh Coalition Legal Director (she/her).
These calls are more urgent than ever before on the heels of new details released this morning: In March 2020, during the event in which officers seized a shotgun from Hole’s home, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) officers discovered that Hole had been on white supremacist websites. As Hole was being detained, he reportedly told IMPD officers, in reference to his computer “I don’t want anyone to see what’s on it.”
“This information stands in confusing contrast to the statement released by FBI Indianapolis Special Agent in Charge Paul Keenan on Friday, April 16,” said Amrith Kaur. “Per Agent Keenan, ‘No Racially Motivated Violent Extremism ideology was identified during the course of the assessment’ in 2020. We now know that this statement does not accurately reflect all of the facts of this case, and are seeking full transparency by the investigating agencies. Additionally, to further this investigation, it is imperative that all witnesses to the shooting be interviewed by law enforcement immediately.”
“The Sikh community will continue to demand complete transparency in this investigation,” said Satjeet Kaur, Sikh Coalition Executive Director (she/her). “We are again calling on local, state, and federal lawmakers to take seriously the possibility that Hole specifically targeted this facility – well known to him, and well known for employing Sikhs and a diverse staff more broadly – for his deadly assault.”
The abovementioned letters were sent to FBI Agent in Charge Keenan, IMPD Police Chief Randal Taylor, Indiana’s entire congressional delegation, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb, Indiana’s entire state legislature, and Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett.
The Sikh community in Indianapolis and across the United States continues to mourn the loss of all eight people killed in last Thursday’s horrific shooting. Review a statement regarding the attack released by multiple area gurdwaras (Sikh houses of worship) on Saturday, April 17, here; for more information about the Sikh faith tradition and the Sikh American community, please view our reporter’s guide to Sikhism here.