GREEN BAY, WI, USA—Last week, a man set a Green Bay, WI convenience store owned by a Sikh American on fire in an apparent hate crime. The perpetrator, a regular customer of the store, walked into Dollar Land, Inc. owned by Gurnek S. Basanti, poured gasoline on the register and then set the register on fire. Fortunately, no one was injured in the attack.
SALDEF applauds the Green Bay Police Department for apprehending the suspect, James Parrish, and the Brown County District Attorney’s Office for charging him with a hate crime.
According to the police report, Parrish stated that he was going to “burn [the] place down.” He also stated that he set the register on fire “to get them the hell out of Wisconsin.” Prior to this incident, Parrish had called himself a “freedom fighter” and made comments about his desire to “round up terrorists.”
“In just the past two weeks, this is the second reported hate crime against a Sikh American,” said SALDEF Executive Director, Jasjit Singh. “It’s important to the victims of such crimes and to the Sikh community that perpetrators of hate crimes are charged accordingly and brought to justice. We thank the Green Bay Police Department and the Brown County District Attorney’s Office for their diligence and look forward to the hate crime conviction of this defendant.”
SALDEF urges all Sikh Americans to immediately report any incidents of harassment, bullying or assault to SALDEF and your local authorities. If you or someone you know has been a victim of any racially motivated crime, please contact SALDEF directly at 202.393.2700 or via our Report an Incident Form.