Monday, August 5th, 2002

9/11 Victim Balbir Singh Sodhi’s Brother Shot to Death, SMART Calls on the FBI to Investigate


SMART urges the Sikh communities in California to call the office of the
San Francisco Mayor and Police Department

Washington, DC – Sukhpal Singh Sodhi, a San Francisco cab driver,
was murdered in the early hours of Sunday August 4, while driving
home. Sukhpal Singh was the brother of Balbir Singh Sodhi, who was
murdered in Arizona in the aftermath of 9/11.

Sikh Mediawatch and Resource Task Force (SMART), a national Sikh
advocacy group, contacted the FBI and urged it to investigate the
killing as a possible hate crime.

SMART is very concerned by news reports quoting San Francisco
Police Department detectives as saying, “the investigation is in
the preliminary stage,” and who also simultaneously concluded that
“we don’t believe this is a hate crime at all.”

These statements indicate that the police department has
unfortunately concluded that Sukhpal Singh’s murder is not a hate
crime prior to conducting an aggressive and complete investigation.

SMART would like to see those responsible for this crime brought
to justice irrespective of their motives. However, SMART urges the
Sikh communities in California to write or call the office of the
San Francisco Mayor and Police Department and urge them to fully
investigate this killing as a possible hate crime.

Willie L. Brown, Jr., Mayor
City Hall, Room 200
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
San Francisco, CA 94102
Phone: (415) 554-6141
Fax: (415) 252-3107 (TDD)
Email: Click here to email

San Francisco Police Department
Public Affairs Office
850 Bryant Street
San Francisco, CA 94103-4603
Phone: (415) 533-1651
Fax: (415) 553-1554

Anyone with information about the shooting is encouraged to call
the San Francisco Police Department’s homicide division at
(415) 431-2127.

SMART will keep the community informed about any developments in
this case and on the progress of the investigation.

About SMART:
Founded in 1996 to promote the fair and accurate portrayal
of Sikh Americans and the Sikh religion in American media and
society, the Sikh Mediawatch and Resource Task Force (SMART)
is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, member based organization. Its
mission is to combat bigotry and prejudice, protect the rights
and religious freedoms of Sikh Americans, and provide resources
that empower the Sikh American community.

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