Joint Statement on Costra County Prosecution of Bias-based Attack

The South Asian Bar Association of Northern California (SABA-NC) and the South Asian Bar Association of Southern California (SABA-SC) commend the Contra Costa District Attorney's Office and Deputy District Attorney Simon O'Connell for their vigorous prosecution of the bias-based attack on Maan Singh Khalsa, an observant Sikh and Bay Area resident of South Asian ancestry, as a hate crime.

On September 25, 2016, Mr. Khalsa was the victim of an unprovoked attack while stopped at a red light on his drive home. His assailants targeted his Sikh articles of faith, knocking off his turban, and deliberately cutting his religiously-mandated unshorn hair with a knife.

In October 2016, SABA-NC joined a coalition of Northern California Asian Pac ific Islander (API) Bar Associations in condemning the brutal bias-based attack on Maan Singh Khalsa and urged the Contra Costa District Attorney's Office to file hate crime charges.

We praise the work of the Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office, and urge law enforcement officers and prosecutors throughout California and the United States to similarly investigate, charge and prosecute bias crimes committed against Arab, African, Middle Eastern, Muslim, Sikh, and South Asian (AAMEMSSA) individuals and communities. Acknowledging hate is the first step to making our communities safe for all. 

SABA-NC and SABA-SC will continue to be a voice for the South Asian community in California.