After gun pulled on Sikh driver, coalition seeks hate crime charges

No arrest or charges have been filed in the case

Rock Island, Illinois - A national coalition is seeking hate crime charges after someone pulled a gun on an Uber driver in the Quad Cities.

That driver is a member of the Sikh faith.

The Sikh Coalition meet with Gurjeet Singh in the Quad Cities Wednesday before talking with Rock Island County officials. 

The Coalition said Singh picked up a couple in Moline in January while working as an Uber driver.

While driving, they said a male passenger starting asking Singh about his status in the country and said "I hate turban people" and pointed a gun at Singh's head.

At that point, Singh hit the brakes and the female passenger intervened and removed the man from the car.

The Coalition said the suspect is known to police but has not been arrested or charged yet. 

"Nobody deserves to have a gun put to their head, nobody and certainly not because of their religion or the way they look," said Sikh Coalition Legal Director Amrith Kaur.  "We want to make sure that across the board every American understands that that's not okay, it's not right and it's never going to be tolerated."

During the Coalition's meeting with Rock Island County Sheriff officials, they say the department is waiting on evidence from Uber.

The Coalition argues that it should not take this long for an arrest and charges to be filed. 

They said these types of cases cause fear in the Sikh community. 

Kaur said, "Hate crimes don't just impact the individual, they're impacting the entire community, and it's because Sikh have been a part of American fabric for over 125 years. If it's an issue that's impacting the Sikh community, it's an issue that's impacting the American community as well."

Singh is a local leader in the Sikh community and wears the turban and beard as required by the religion. 

They say their faith is about equality and justice for all.

The Coalition said Singh is a legal resident of the United States. 

The Coalition hopes charges will be filed by the end of the week. 

 


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