Media InquiriesPrimary Press Contact: Jagmeet Singh
Media & Communications Manager, the Sikh Coalition
Secondary Press Contact: Mark Reading-Smith
Media & Communications Director, the Sikh Coalition
40 Civil Rights Organizations Demand Accountability in Texas Profiling CaseJune 1, 2016 (Amarillo, TX) - Today, 40 civil rights organizations are joining the Sikh Coalition to demand accountability after two brown-skinned men were profiled, falsely arrested and mistreated by authorities in Amarillo, Texas while traveling aboard a Greyhound bus.
In February, the two men – Mr. Daljeet Singh and Mr. Mohammed Chotri, asylum applicants from India and Pakistan respectively – were falsely accused of terrorism, harshly interrogated and arrested at gunpoint by authorities in Potter County, Texas. More than one month after the Sikh Coalition filed a complaint demanding an investigation into the profiling of the Sikh passenger, authorities have failed to address the case.
“I was arrested at gunpoint and wrongfully detained for nearly 30 hours without question, but nobody seems to care that this was the wrong thing to do,” said Daljeet Singh. “My hope is that something like this never happens to another innocent person.”
Mr. Singh, an asylum seeker from India with limited English proficiency, wears a turban and keeps a beard as part of his Sikh identity. These articles of faith, which represent equality, justice and tolerance for all, are routinely misunderstood and falsely linked to terrorism.
The coalition of 40 local and national organizations sent the letter to the Potter County Sheriff’s Office and the Potter County Attorney’s Office this morning. The letter requests a copy of the county’s law enforcement profiling guidelines, new diversity training for law enforcement officers, robust translation services to protect the rights of non-English speakers, and a copy of the county’s redress procedures to ensure that allegations of discriminatory treatment are fully investigated and remedied.
“What happened to these two men is unconscionable. We intend to work closely with local authorities on their training procedures and response protocols to ensure that history isn’t repeated,” said Sikh Coalition Policy Director, Arjun Singh.
The coalition of organizations making these demands includes the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Texas and a diverse cross section of civil rights organizations that represent various communities across the United States. In recent months, minority communities have experienced a dramatic spike in backlash and bigotry.
“The steady stream of xenophobic rhetoric from politicians in Texas has contributed to a climate in which innocent people are targeted for discrimination, racial profiling and police overreach,” said Rebecca L. Robertson, Legal and Policy Director at the ACLU of Texas. “In a state as diverse as our own, it’s unacceptable that anyone could be arrested, searched, interrogated and forced to spend the night in jail for speaking Punjabi on a Greyhound bus. And, in a state as deeply religious as Texas, we should demand that police respect all faith traditions.”
The Sikh Coalition represents Mr. Daljeet Singh, who is presently unavailable for interviews at this time. To schedule interviews with policy or legal counsel at the Sikh Coalition or the ACLU of Texas, please contact Mark Reading-Smith or Jagmeet Singh.
Recent Press Releases Issued:
- (June 1, 2016) 40 Civil Rights Organizations Demand Accountability in Texas Profiling Case
- (April 27, 2016) Sikh Demands Accountability After Texas Terror Accusation
- (April 11, 2016) U.S. Army Acquiesces, Grants Accommodations to Three More Sikh Soldiers
- (April 1, 2016) Military Grants Religious Freedom To Active Duty Sikh Soldier
- (March 29, 2016) Second Lawsuit Filed in Fight To End Military Religious Discrimination
- (March 4, 2016) Court Denies Discriminatory Test for Decorated Sikh Soldier, Defends Religious Freedom
- (March 1, 2016) Hate Crime Charges Finally Filed in Brutal L.A. Bus Driver Assault
- (February 29, 2016)Decorated Sikh Soldier Files Lawsuit After Military Denies Religious Freedom
- (February 2, 2016) New Reporting Tool Launched To Combat Spike in Bigoted Backlash
- (January 13, 2016) LA Sikh Bus Driver Assaulted and Called “Terrorist”
- (December 14, 2015) Landmark Sikh Military Accommodation Reinforces Need To End Discriminatory Ban
- (December 8, 2015) Orange County House of Worship Vandalized With ISIS Hate Language
- (October 22, 2015) From Oak Creek To Chapel Hill: Hate Crime Tragedies Shared With Congress
- (September 15 2015) Sikhs Applaud New Hate Crime Charge, Proceed With Chicago Press Conference Today
- (September 14, 2015) Sikh Hate Crime Press Conference: Tuesday at 11am CST
- (September 11, 2015) Sikhs Demand Federal Hate Crime Prosecution After DuPage Prosecutor Fails
- (September 9, 2015) Chicago Sikh American Assaulted in Hate Crime Last Night
- (June 18, 2015) Sikh Americans Mourn in Wake of Charleston Tragedy Prompted by Hate
- (June 15, 2015) New Court Ruling Progress For Ending Religious Discrimination in Military
- (April 1, 2015) Sikhs Demand LGBT Fix, But No Nix To RFRA Law
- (March 25, 2015) Sikhs Finally Represented in FBI Hate Crime Tracking Program
- (January 29, 2015) New Case Highlights Pentagon’s Failure To Resolve Religious Discrimination
- (December 8, 2014) Sikh Coalition Rejects Flawed and Misleading DOJ Racial Profiling Guidance
- (December 6, 2014) Reports on New Racial Profiling Guidance Shocking to Sikh Community
- (November 19, 2014) HASC Hearing on Religious Accommodations Fails to Address Sikh Loophole
- (August 29, 2014) Sikhs Launch Viral Video to Call 'Foul' on FIBA Turban Ban
- (August 14, 2014) Sikh Hate Crime Targets Demand Action from NYC Government: Recent Hate Attacks Linked to Government Inaction and NYPD Discrimination
- (August 12, 2014) Sikh Hate Crime Targets Demand Action from NYC Government
- (August 8, 2014) Another NYC Sikh Injured in Hate Attack: 2nd Attack in 2 Weeks; Sikh Coalition Urges Witnesses to Step Forward
- (August 5, 2014) Rally This Morning: Sikh Father Hit by Truck, Dragged 30 Feet in Hate Crime
- (August 4, 2014) Press Conference: NYC Sikh Father Hit by Truck, Dragged 30 Feet in Possible Hate Crime
- (July 17, 2014)Sikh Coalition Files FOIA Request for NSA and FBI ‘Raghead’ Documents
- (April 2, 2014) Interfaith Coalition to Pentagon: New Religion Guidelines Still Discriminate
- (March 13, 2014) Groundbreaking National Report on Severe Bullying of Sikh American School Children Released Today in US Congress
- (March 10, 2014) 105 Members of Congress Urge Defense Secretary to End Sikh Service Ban
- (January 29, 2014) Sikhs Press Pentagon to Improve New Religious Accommodation Guidelines
- (January 22, 2014) Sikh Coalition Responds to Amended DOD Religious Guidelines
- (September 21, 2013) "Get Osama" Yelled in Attack on Sikh Columbia University Professor, Victim to Speak at Press Conference
- (May 31, 2013) Decorated Sikh Soldier Presses For End to Ban on Sikh Military Service
- (August 5, 2012) Sikh Coalition Responds To Tragic Shooting in Wisconsinn
- (August 6, 2012) Second Press Release Issued After the Shooting in Wisconsin
- (August 6, 2012) Third Press Release Issued After the Shooting in Wisconsin
- (August 7, 2012) Fourth Press Release Issued After the Shooting in Wisconsin
- (August 7, 2012) Fifth Press Release Issued After the Shooting in Wisconsin
- (August 8, 2012) Sixth Press Release Issued After the Shooting in Wisconsin
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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 12 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.
Photos and videos of the Sikh Coalition's work.
- Introduction to Sikhi
- Style Guide and Glossary
- Common Misconceptions Regarding Sikhism
- Sikh Image in the Media
- 2008 - 2009 Press Releases