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The Sikh Coalition News
August 20, 2014
  • [Update] Man Arrested for Anti-Sikh Hate Crime in New York City

    August 20, 2014 (New York, NY) – After nearly three weeks of sustained Sikh community activism, the New York Police Department (NYPD) arrested 55-year-old Joseph Caleca for hitting, dragging, and seriously injuring Sandeep Singh with a truck in Queens late last month. While Sandeep continues to recover at home from his injuries, Caleca faces attempted murder and hate crime charges.

    The Sikh Coalition is grateful to the NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force for its ongoing efforts to deliver justice to Sandeep Singh and his family. The Sikh Coalition also thanks the Department of Justice’s Community Relations Service for their work to address community tensions related to the hate attack.

    Roosevelt Island Case Still Unsolved
    A few days after Sandeep Singh was attacked, another Sikh—Dr. Jaspreet Singh Batra—was assaulted on Roosevelt Island, New York City, in front of his mother. The investigation is still ongoing. The Sikh Coalition has called on the NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force to use its specialized expertise to capture his assailants.

    "I made the call to the Sikh Coalition around midnight while I was being treated in the ER. Not only did the team listen to me patiently, but also took action immediately and offered me all their support and available resources. Words cannot express my gratitude for all the assistance I have received from this team. They are very proactive and engage various law enforcement agencies to pursue these cases with due diligence." – Dr. Jaspreet Singh Batra

    Standing Up for Our Rights: A Timeline of Community Activism
    Below is a timeline of major actions taken to respond to the recent hate attacks in New York City:

    Aug. 1, 2:12 a.m.
    Sikh Coalition learns about Sandeep Singh’s attack.
    Aug. 1
    Direct contact made with Sandeep’s family to offer assistance.
    Aug. 1
    Three members of Sikh Coalition legal team visit the hospital to interview witnesses and learn facts.
    Aug. 1
    Legal team is in direct contact with lead investigator at NYPD to determine scope and appropriateness of police response.
    Aug. 1
    Legal team speaks directly with the NYPD Hate Crimes Taskforce to urge hate crime investigation.
    Aug. 1
    Sikh Coalition advocacy department notifies U.S. Department of Justice of the incident.
    Aug. 2
    Sikh Coalition requests involvement of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Community Relations Service.
    Aug. 2
    Sikh Coalition legal team visits family at the hospital to provide ongoing updates.
    Aug. 2-3
    Sikh Coalition continues discussions with lead NYPD investigators to determine appropriateness of police response.
    Aug. 4
    At request of the Sikh Coalition, the U.S. Department of Justice helps organize a Sikh community leader meeting with the local police precinct leading the investigation.
    Aug. 5
    In partnership with the local Sikh community, the Sikh Coalition organizes a large community rally and news conference urging a hate crime investigation and additional resources.
    Aug. 5 - Present
    Sikh Coalition continues to work closely with the family.
    Aug. 7, 11:18 p.m.
    Sikh Coalition learns about assault on Dr. Jaspreet Singh Batra.
    Aug. 8, 12:59am
    Sikh Coalition contacts NYPD to urge hate crime investigation.
    Aug. 8
    Legal team visits Dr. Batra at his home to discuss the assault.
    Aug. 8
    Sikh Coalitions notifies U.S Department of Justice of possible hate crime.
    Aug. 8
    Sikh Coalition writes letter to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to demand policy reforms.
    Aug. 8
    Sikh Coalition issues a press release to inform media outlets about the attack.
    Aug. 12
    Legal team meets with representatives from the New York City Mayor’s office and the NYPD's Hate Crimes Task Force to discuss the attacks.
    Aug. 13
    Legal team meets with Sandeep Singh to record his first video statement.
    Aug. 14
    Sikh Coalition organizes second news conference to increase public awareness about attacks and provide a platform for Sikhs who have experienced hate crimes.
    Aug. 19
    Legal team meets with FBI officials to discuss strategies to combat hate crimes.
    Aug. 20
    Advocacy team works closely with Congressman Crowley’s office to secure a letter to NYC Mayor and NYPD urging them to develop an action plan to address anti-Sikh violence and discrimination.

    The Sikh Coalition is grateful for the NYPD’s diligence in making an arrest in Sandeep Singh’s case. However, it is important to note the extent of the engagement that is still needed for hate attacks such as these. Without constant communication with government officials, media outlets, and community members, anti-Sikh attacks are unlikely to be vigorously investigated as hate crimes or receive necessary public attention.

    With your continued support, the Sikh Coalition will continue to work around the clock to ensure that justice is served to the Sikh American community.

    As always, we encourage Sikhs everywhere to fearlessly maintain their articles of faith.

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