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The Sikh Coalition News
July 31, 2020
  • Update on White Nationalist Investigation in Orangevale, CA

    July 31, 2020 (Orangevale, CA) -- As a Sacramento community member, the Sikh Coalition is writing to inform you about an ongoing investigation into a white nationalist who has made threats and praised past targeted violence and bias-motivated acts in your area. The purpose of sharing this information is to increase Sikh community awareness and vigilance.

    Last Wednesday, the Huffington Post published an expose on Andrew Richard Casarez, a 27-year-old white nationalist living in Orangevale. For the past several years, Casarez has reportedly worked to become an online leader in white nationalist circles, building a following through social media and a podcast. He frequently praised Dylan Roof, the neo-Nazi gunman who killed nine people in an armed assault on a Black Christian church in South Carolina in 2015. While using a fake name online, Casarez has advocated for and applauded violence against minority communities.

    One incident that Casarez celebrated online was the 2017 vandalism of Temple Or Rishon, a synagogue in Orangevale. In that incident, anti-Semetic fliers were taped all over the synagogue’s property. It is important to note, however, that there was another hateful act at a house of worship in this area earlier this year: the vandalism of the new sign at Guru Maneyo Granth Gurdwara Sahib. As a reminder, the sign was graffitied with a swastika and the words 'WHITE POWER' in January; the Sikh Coalition was retained by the gurdwara and continues to provide legal advice and assistance with the ongoing investigation.

    Casarez is currently under investigation by local and federal law enforcement for possible involvement in both of these incidents; on July 15, law enforcement seized a firearm from his home. Because he has an online following and uses his platform to encourage hate, we encourage all community members to be aware of the ongoing investigation and remain extra vigilant regarding harassment or targeted violence in the area.

    The Sikh Coalition remains in direct contact with both local and federal law enforcement to ensure that they are keeping the sangat informed, and to urge them to take the potential increased security threat seriously. We have also reached out to Jewish community leaders in the area to understand what they know about Casarez and the investigation. Moving forward, we will look to provide further updates to the community.

    Since 2017, the Sikh Coalition has been sharing free security preparedness resources with more than 250 gurdwaras across the United States. Using existing guidance from the federal government, we have been sharing authoritative guidance on improving security with gurdwaras of all sizes. If your gurdwara has not participated in the Sikh Coalition’s gurdwara security project and would like more information, please email community@sikhcoalition.org. Additionally, if you or anyone in your community has experienced bias or been the victim of a hate crime, please contact the Sikh Coalition’s Legal Team immediately for a free consultation.

    As always, the Sikh Coalition urges you to practice your faith fearlessly.
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Editing:2020.07.31 Orangevale Casarez update Editing:2020.07.31 Orangevale Casarez update