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The Sikh Coalition News
October 26, 2022
  • Richmond Hill NYPD Trainings In Response to Anti-Sikh Attacks

    October 26, 2022 (Queens, NY) -- One week ago, the Sikh Coalition provided Sikh awareness trainings to officers and staff members at the New York Police Department’s (NYPD) 102 Precinct in Richmond Hill, Queens. Given the attacks that have taken place in the area since the beginning of this year, these NYPD trainings were conducted to further ensure the local precinct was informed of the process to accurately track and report anti-Sikh hate crimes.

    Although New York City has one of the largest Sikh populations in the United States, the NYPD had not previously reported a single anti-Sikh hate crime, although anti-Sikh hate crimes were added as a category by the FBI in 2015. As a result, the Sikh Coalition has further intensified ongoing efforts to hold the NYPD accountable in the accurate tracking and reporting of anti-Sikh hate incidents, as well as working to increase awareness about who Sikhs are.

    “Targeted hate violence is not only deeply traumatizing to the individuals involved--it’s traumatizing to their entire community,” said Nikki Singh, Sikh Coalition Senior Manager of Policy and Advocacy. “Law enforcement, from the officers on the ground through the top of the chain of command, must be held accountable for understanding the communities they serve.”

    Multiple incidents took place in Queens this year--including the January 3 assault on a Sikh taxi driver at JFK, the April 3 attack on Nirmal Singh while he was out for a morning walk, and, 10 days later, the attacks and robberies of two more Sikh individuals. In part due to advocacy led by the Sikh Coalition and other Sikh community organizers, the NYPD recognized and investigated these cases as hate crimes, and finally recorded and reported them as anti-Sikh incidents. While swift action in cases like these--action that stems directly from the lived experiences of our community--sends a clear message that no one should be targeted by hate violence, there still remains unfinished work to guarantee that the NYPD will dependably name, track, and investigate anti-Sikh hate crimes.

    The Sikh Coalition continues to work to hold the NYPD accountable while advocating for a multi-pronged approach to countering hate. Some of these many efforts include the effective implementation of state and federal hate crime laws; more accessible and plentiful resources for securing our houses of worship; and ensuring that Sikhs are represented in hate crime task forces and roundtables. For questions about this work, please email our team at advocacy@sikhcoalition.org.

    As always, the Sikh Coalition urges you to practice your faith fearlessly.
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