NEW YORK, US—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.”
“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 of 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.”
As always, the Sikh Coalition encourages all Sikhs to practice their faith fearlessly.