July 21, 2020 -- Nearly three months after Lakhwant Singh was verbally harassed and violently assaulted outside of his own store in Lakewood, CO, his attacker has not yet been charged with a hate crime.
Today, we’re asking you to take action and seek #JusticeForLakhwant: Can you post the graphic below tomorrow (Wednesday) at 12:00 PM your time and tag Jefferson County District Attorney Peter Weir and Chief Deputy District Attorney Matthew Durkin?
If you’re posting on Facebook: Nearly three months have passed since Lakhwant Singh was brutally attacked and nearly killed by a man who told him to “go back to your country” and called him an “older Arab.” Meanwhile, the Jefferson County DA says that “go back to your country” isn’t biased. This isn’t right! @JeffcoColorado and @durkinforda, please charge Lakhwant’s attacker with a hate crime! #JusticeForLakhwant
If you’re posting on Twitter: It has been almost three months since Lakhwant Singh was brutally assaulted. The man who attacked him told him to “go back to your country” and called him an “older Arab.” @DA1Colorado and @Durkin5CO, please charge Lakhwant’s attacker with a hate crime! #JusticeForLakhwant
The attacker, Eric Breemen, will be in court this Friday, July 24 for a preliminary hearing. Unfortunately, the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office has publicly stated they don’t believe the assault against Mr. Singh was biased, because “go back to your country” is “not racial;” they said that “that kind of talk happens all too often, but that in itself is not enough for us to be able to prove he was targeted/attacked for his race.”
“Lakhwant ji has shared his story with the DA’s office, and they have heard from civil rights experts, concerned citizens, and many others that charging this case as a hate crime matters,” said Kanwarbir Singh Sandhu, Gurdwara President at Colorado Singh Sabha. “DA Weir and CDDA Durkin must acknowledge that anyone who shouts ‘go back to your country’ and tries to kill someone is acting from a place of prejudice and hate.”
More than 2,500 people sent an email to the DA’s office calling for #JusticeForLakhwant; you can still do so today. 29 civil rights, interfaith, and other organizations also echoed their call with this sign-on letter. If you take five minutes to post this graphic and tag DA Weir and CDDA Durkin, it could make a difference in this important case. After you post, please ask your friends and family to do so, too. No one deserves to be targeted or hurt because of their actual or perceived race, religion, or heritage.
As a reminder, Breemen deliberately struck Mr. Singh with his car on April 29 after barging into Mr. Singh’s store and shouting at him and his wife to “go back to your country;” he later told the officers who arrested him that Mr. Singh was an “older Arab.” The Sikh Coalition continues to provide free legal support and resources to Mr. Singh and his family as they navigate this difficult time. If you or someone you know has been subjected to bias, bigotry, or backlash, please reach out to our legal team now.
As always, the Sikh Coalition urges you to practice your faith fearlessly.