sacramento sikh cab driver severely beaten in hate crime attack

Earlier this week, the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund called on local authorities and the FBI to initiate a hate crime investigation into a vicious attack on a Sikh American cab driver in Sacramento, who was allegedly called "Osama bin Laden" as he was attacked: Sacramento Sikh Cab Driver Severely Beaten.

Early Sunday morning, 56-year-old cab driver Harbhajan Singh was brutally assaulted after picking up passengers at a local restaurant in Midtown Sacramento. Two of the suspects began attacking him, shouting expletives and demanding money. Singh says it was his turban that provoked the attack:
Mr. Singh picked up the passengers, two men and two women, in Midtown Sacramento. Upon informing Mr. Singh that they wanted to change their destination, the male passengers began to attack Singh and demanded his money. Even after giving them his money, they continued to attack him, leading Singh to believe the attack was motivated by his dastaar (Sikh turban). One of the attackers shouted expletives and called him Osama bin Laden.

One of the female passengers put herself in between the attackers and Singh to protect him, which allowed Singh to get away. Singh banged on the doors of an apartment complex until he found someone to call 9-1-1. Singh received several stitches on his head and other parts of his body and sustained bruising along his rib cage and bone chips in his nose. The attackers and the female passengers disappeared.

“Attacks on innocent individuals are always inexcusable, but the use of racial, ethnic and religious slurs are especially heinous and have no place in our society,” said SALDEF Associate Executive Director Jasjit Singh. “We call upon the West Sacramento Police Department and the FBI to ensure a thorough investigation is conducted and that hate crimes charges are brought against any culprits that are found.”
More here: Robbery or Hate Crime? Sacramento Cabbie Severely Beaten. The Council on American-Islamic Relations is also urging the FBI to investigate the attack as a hate crime: CAIR Asks FBI to Probe Attack on Calif. Sikh Mistaken for Muslim.

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 toll free at 1.877.91SIKHS or use their Report an Incident Form.

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