INDIANAPOLIS – Senate Democratic Leader Tim Lanane (D-Anderson) had the following comments following Governor Holcomb’s Monday address on recent protests in the state:
“Frankly, while I appreciate the governor’s statement supporting peaceful protest, we need action. We must enact the systemic change that is needed to truly make sure Hoosiers, no matter their color, are protected from brutality hidden behind a badge. We must make Indiana a state that truly embraces equal opportunity and justice, not just more unfulfilled promises.
“The governor claims that now is the time to come together and figure out a list of action items we can enact to solve the problem. But, where was this willingness to cooperate in the past?
“Year after year, countless Indiana Black Legislative Caucus agenda items are ignored by Statehouse Republicans. Pregnancy accommodations are denied, even though such legislation would help decrease the ever-growing infant and maternal mortality rates in black communities. A fully-inclusive hate crimes bill was never passed, even though numerous communities, religious groups, businesses and advocacy groups supported this law. Legislation to require bias training for law enforcement and other public officials fails to get approved each year, even though such a policy is proven to help bridge the barriers between communities of color and law enforcement.
“The time for simply coming to the table has come and gone. We must enact policies now that will help weed out the systemic racism that has perpetuated our society for decades now. The reason Hoosiers are out in the streets protesting is because state leaders have not listened to them and have previously refused to take up their suggestions and demands.
“Black and brown Hoosiers know what they need to feel safe and prosperous in our state. We must accept their ideas and commit to enacting these policies that can help the communities who continue to live with unequal treatment.”