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The Sikh Coalition News
June 30, 2020
  • 29 Organizations Ask for Hate Crime Charges and #JusticeForLakhwant

    June 30, 2020 (Lakewood, CO) -- The campaign to ensure hate crime charges in the assault of Mr. Lakhwant Singh continues. Today, 29 civil rights organizations, interfaith groups, gurdwaras, and other institutions signed on to a letter demanding that Jefferson County District Attorney Peter Weir fully investigate this case as a hate crime and, with evidence demonstrating the requisite bias, bring felony hate crime charges against Mr. Singh’s attacker in accordance with Colorado’s bias-motivated crime statute.

    As a reminder, Mr. Singh was intentionally struck with a vehicle by a man who barged into his store and repeatedly told him and his wife to “go back to your country.” The attacker, who was in violation of his parole at the time, was apprehended the next day after committing more crimes; when speaking to the officers who eventually arrested him, he described Mr. Singh as an “older Arab.”

    “We are deeply honored to have so many different people across Colorado standing with the Sikh community in our hour of need,” said Kanwarbir Singh Sandhu, gurdwara president at Colorado Singh Sabha. “It is extremely important to all of us that the biases that drove Mr. Singh’s attacker to this hateful act are formally acknowledged by law enforcement. And all of these allies--regardless of their race, religion, or profession--are standing with us because they too believe Colorado must reject hate.”

    This letter underscores the groundswell of support for hate crime charges in this heinous attack. A week after launching our campaign, more than 2,300 people across the nation have called for #JusticeForLakhwant by using a simple online tool to send a message to District Attorney Weir and Lakewood Mayor Adam Paul about this case.

    "Hate crime charges in this case aren't only about justice for Mr. Singh," said Nikki Singh, Sikh Coalition Policy and Advocacy Manager. "They are about the message that DA Weir and the rest of Lakewood's law enforcement want to send to everyone regarding racism, xenophobia, and bigotry. For that reason, we are grateful to all of the groups that have chosen to raise their voices and stand in solidarity with us at this critical moment."

    In addition to leading this advocacy campaign and continuing to provide free legal consultation to Mr. Singh and his family, the Sikh Coalition has worked to secure media coverage to further pressure the Jefferson County DA’s Office. To date, Denver 7 ABC and FOX 31 have both done on-air features about the case, and the Lakewood Sentinel--which broke the story of this hate crime two months ago--has published updates. In addition, the case has also received coverage in Indian and Punjabi press: Sikh Coalition staff discussed the need for hate crime charges on Chardikla Time TV, PTC Punjabi, and JUS Punjabi; Indica News and the Press Trust of India have provided additional reporting.

    The Sikh Coalition will continue to provide updates in this case. In the meantime, if you or someone you know has been subjected to bias, bigotry, or backlash, we urge you to contact our legal team for free legal aid.

    As always, the Sikh Coalition urges you to practice your faith fearlessly.
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Editing:2020.06.30 CO hate crime letter Editing:2020.06.30 CO hate crime letter  

Editing:2020.06.30 CO hate crime letter Editing:2020.06.30 CO hate crime letter