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California Sikh man sues sheriff’s workplace for delaying investigation into racist threats

(RNS) — Rouble Paul Claire, a first-generation Sikh American, is suing Sutter County within the Sacramento metro space, claiming that authorities have did not correctly examine and prosecute threats of racial slurs and violence he skilled a yr in the past.

The lawsuit, filed within the U.S. Jap District Court docket of California, claims the Sutter County Sheriff’s Workplace violated his civil rights when it did not adequately examine his case, “based mostly upon Mr. Claire’s race, ethnicity, and/or standing as a hate crime sufferer.”

It facilities on two incidents final Could during which Claire, 66, was accosted by a girl in his neighborhood whereas at a neighborhood grocery retailer. The girl, Claire alleges within the swimsuit, known as him a “f*****g Hindu” and threatened to “ram” him along with her automotive earlier than she backed up and sped towards him in a parking zone. She took a sudden flip, slammed her brakes, and parked behind Claire’s automotive. Claire ran again to the shop and, with the assistance of an worker, known as 911 for help. 

The assailant, Claire stated within the swimsuit, accused him of operating over her canine. Claire stated he did no such factor.


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Later that day, a girl allegedly related to the assailant wrote the phrase “Sand N****r” in chalk on the sidewalk outdoors his home and in his driveway, based on the lawsuit. She additionally known as him the “N” phrase. Claire once more known as 911.

A couple of half hour later, a deputy arrived at Claire’s dwelling and “appeared disinterested and didn’t take any notes.” One other deputy who responded to the chalking incident poured water over the “N” phrase earlier than leaving the home and earlier than having “preserved or documented these racial epithets,” based on the lawsuit. Each deputies apparently met with the assailant, based on the lawsuit.

Claire believes there was sufficient proof of a hate crime after the deputies spoke with him and the assailant and after seeing the chalking in entrance of his dwelling. However, he stated within the lawsuit, the sheriff’s workplace “did not additional examine or report the incidents.”

“For months after instantly reporting these hateful acts, I sat in silence ready for motion that by no means got here. I didn’t wish to must take authorized motion towards anybody, however I consider that this failure of justice is unacceptable: Nobody in our neighborhood ought to must face this type of hate and bigotry,” Claire said in a statement.

Sutter County has not responded to our request for remark. The swimsuit seeks damages from the county and from the 2 civilian defendants for assault, claiming Claire suffered “extreme emotional misery” and financial loss.

By December 2021, the Sikh Coalition acquired concerned and helped Claire with free authorized steerage. The advocacy group met twice with Sutter County Sheriff Brandon Barnes, who “acknowledged that his deputies did not observe correct investigatory protocol in the midst of these instances,” the Sikh Coalition said in a statement.

The Sikh Coalition stated it obtained a police report during which the sheriff’s workplace beneficial felony fees towards the girl who threatened Claire on the retailer, six months after the incident​​. 

The Sutter County District Lawyer’s Workplace, in a statement to another media outlet, stated the sheriff’s workplace referred the case for a cost of assault with a lethal weapon, not for hate crimes towards Claire.

The assertion from the sheriff’s workplace “didn’t include ample proof to show this crime past an affordable doubt,” stated District Lawyer Amanda Hopper, including that a watch witness account reveals “it didn’t seem that the suspect tried to hit Mr. Claire however was merely making an attempt to dam him in.”

“If the alleged info contained within the civil paperwork are correct, then my workplace has not obtained the entire stories and proof referenced,” Hopper stated. Fees might nonetheless be filed earlier than Could 11, 2024, she stated.

The Sikh Coalition, nevertheless, stated the eyewitness account corroborates that the girl on the grocery retailer “was appearing in a harmful and threatening method.” The Sikh Coalition additionally stated this info has been introduced “repeatedly” to the district legal professional’s workplace. 

Amrith Kaur Aakre, the Sikh Coalition’s authorized director, stated in an announcement that these “hateful interactions can result in violent outcomes.” She famous the case of Khalid Jabara, who in 2016 was killed in Oklahoma after months of verbal harassment from a neighbor.

“Nobody deserves to really feel threatened in their very own neighborhood, and regulation enforcement — each police and prosecutors — merely should do higher,” Aakre stated.

“The massive Sikh inhabitants on this space is just extra motive to make sure that all members of this neighborhood really feel protected and safe,” she added.

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