Human rights organization charges hate crime charges in attack on Sikh American store owner Lakhwant Singh


Lakhwant Singh was brutally assaulted in the store he owns with his wife in April.

New York:

Sikh American owner of Colorado liquor store was brutally attacked by white man who told him to “return to your country”, prompting Sikh civil rights organization to lay charges hate crime reports against the abuser.

Lakhwant Singh was brutally assaulted in the store he owns with his wife in April when Eric Breemen entered the store and began to harass the couple, said the Sikh Coalition.

Breemen damaged many items and repeatedly told the couple to “return to your country”.

When Breemen left the store, Mr. Singh followed him outside to take a photo of his license plate so he could report the abuse, but Breemen hit Mr. Singh with his vehicle, the throwing several feet onto the parking lot, causing multiple injuries.

After his arrest, Breemen told police that he had attacked an “Arab” man. The date for Breemen’s preliminary hearing is scheduled for July 24, the date on which charges will be formally laid, the civil rights organization said.

“After telling me and my wife several times to ‘return to our country,’ my attacker violently hit my car,” said Singh in a statement released by the Sikh Coalition.

“He thought I was different, and because of that, he thought it was good to try to kill me. But this community is my home, and that is why I ask the authorities to show that they will not defend such bigotry by filing an official complaint. ” hate crime charges. “

The Sikh Coalition said that almost two months after the attack on Mr. Singh, authorities have yet to guarantee that hate crime charges will be laid against the accused.

“The facts of this case are clear and not filing a hate crime complaint jeopardizes the safety of every member of the Colorado Sikh community,” said Amrith Kaur, legal director of the Sikh Coalition.

“No one deserves to be targeted by hate,” said Kaur, adding that the group had asked the Jefferson County prosecutor’s office to immediately lay charges of hate crime against the accused, in addition to all of the charges. other applicable charges.

Earlier this month, the Sikh Coalition legal team sent a letter to the Jefferson County Attorney’s office and the Lakewood Police Department requesting an investigation into the hate crime charges. criminal under the Colorado Prejudice Crimes Act.

Authorities at a meeting with the Jefferson County Attorney’s Office last week made no guarantees to the Sikh Coalition’s legal team that they planned to continue this case as a crime of hate, said the group.

In response, the Sikh Coalition issues a national call to action urging district attorney Peter Weir to protect Sikhs and other minority communities from sectarianism, hatred and violence by recognizing the biased motivators behind the attack .

The Sikh Coalition has declared that Sikh Americans remain hundreds of times more likely to be subjected to bigotry, prejudice and backlash than their fellow Americans.


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