Violent Crimes Hit Native Americans Hardest

Crime Study

Native Americans are far more likely to be the victims of violent crime than members of any other racial group, according to the first comprehensive study of crimes involving Indians, released in February by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Moreover, 70% of violent crimes against Indians are committed by members of other racial groups, mainly whites. That is a far cry from the experience of non-Indians, who are mainly attacked by members of their own races.

Some 70% of whites are attacked by whites, and more than 80% of blacks are victims of other blacks, studies have shown.

Although it was not known what percentage of violent crime against Indians was motivated by bias, experts said that prejudice does motivate much anti-Indian crime. Another reason for the disproportionate numbers is the fact that Indians live among those of other races far more frequently than do members of other racial groups.

"The common wisdom was that blacks experience the highest exposure to violence," report co-author Lawrence Greenfeld told The Los Angeles Times.

"We now know that American Indians experience a much greater exposure to violence than other races."