For the Media

Sikh Hate Crime Targets Demand Action from NYC Government
Recent Hate Attacks Linked to Government Inaction and NYPD Discrimination

For Immediate Release
Rajdeep Singh, Director of Law and Policy, rajdeep@sikhcoalition.org | (202) 747-4944

 

AAugust 14, 2014 (New York, NY) – Three Sikh men—all violently attacked because of their turbans in separate New York City hate crimes—today called on government and police leaders to enact policy reforms to address violence and discrimination against minority communities in New York City.

At a press conference organized by the Sikh Coalition, Dr. Jaspreet Singh Batra, a medical scientist, recounted how he was attacked and injured last Thursday on Roosevelt Island. Speaking via video because of the seriousness of his injuries, Sandeep Singh, a business owner and father, deemed his slow recovery a “miracle” after being run over and dragged by a driver in a pick-up truck on a public street in Queens late last month. Both assaults, which were accompanied by racial and religious slurs, occurred almost one year after Dr. Prabhjot Singh was attacked in Harlem. Dr. Singh joined the men in solidarity.

“This is not a Sikh problem,” said Dr. Prabhjot Singh. “This is a human problem, a New York City problem, and an American problem about how we take responsibility for each other. I hope that Mayor De Blasio and Police Commissioner Bratton will follow through on meeting with us to find a productive way forward. We can't afford to be satisfied with how things were.”

According to surveys by the Sikh Coalition, violence and discrimination affect Sikhs of all ages. According to one report, 60 percent of Sikh children in New York City have experienced bullying and harassment because of their religion, and 9 percent of Sikh adults have been physically assaulted because of their religion since 9/11. Sikh advocates believe that the New York Police Department (NYPD) contributes to the problem by refusing to hire turbaned Sikhs who wish to serve as police officers, and the Sikh Coalition has called on government officials to create a task force to systematically address hate violence and discrimination against all communities in New York City.

“Sikhs are repeatedly attacked because of the way we look, and the NYPD discriminates against us because of the way we look,” said Rajdeep Singh, Director of Law and Policy for the Sikh Coalition. “How can we expect the New York City government to prevent bias attacks against Sikhs when the government itself is biased against Sikhs? We need real reform, and we need it now.”

 

Click here for a video statement by Sandeep Singh

Click here for a statement by Dr. Jaspreet Singh Batra

Click here for a statement by Dr. Prabhjot Singh

Click here for a  Fact Sheet on Violence and Discrimination Against Sikhs and  Other Minority Communities in New York City

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Amardeep Singh, Programs Director (212) 655-3095, ext. 83 amar@sikhcoalition.org

 

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About the Sikh Coalition

The Sikh Coalition is a community-based organization that works towards the realization of civil and human rights for all people. In particular, we work towards a world where Sikhs may freely practice and enjoy their faith while fostering strong relations with their local community wherever they may be.

We pursue our mission by:

  • Providing direct legal services to persons whose civil or human rights are violated;
  • Advocating for law and policies that are respectful of fundamental rights;
  • Promoting appreciation for diversity through education; and
  • Fostering civic engagement in order to promote local community empowerment

With a full-time staff of 10 and offices in New York City, Fremont, CA and Washington D.C., we are the most-staffed Sikh organization in the history of the United States.

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