ADL Calls for Hate Crime Investigation in Shooting of Sikh Man in Kent, Washington

Seattle, WA, March 5, 2017 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) called for the investigation into the shooting of a Sikh man in Kent, Washington to be treated as a potential hate crime.

"We are deeply shocked by this heinous act of violence against a innocent American targeted outside of his home, singled out, apparently because of his appearance ," said Hilary Bernstein, ADL Seattle Regional Director. "We strongly condemn targeted violence against any religious group and we are confident that federal, state and local law enforcement officials are closely examining the possibility that this was a hate crime."

On the evening of March 3, a 39-year-old Sikh man was shot in his driveway after the gunman allegedly told him to “go back to your own country.” The victim was shot in the arm and is recovering as law enforcement agencies continue their search for the gunman.

“We join with our partners in the Sikh and South Asian communities in calling on our national leaders to make hate crime prevention a top priority,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO. “This is especially important for members of the Sikh community, whose appearance and religious articles of faith distinguish them and make them possible hate crime targets.  

"We are pleased that the FBI has now incorporated anti-Sikh hate crime data collection into their annual Hate Crime Statistics Report. ADL and a broad coalition of civil right and religious organizations had promoted this addition. Training and outreach will be essential to ensure accurate reporting."

The Sikh Coalition, the Sikh American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (SALDEF), and South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT) are partners in #50StatesAgainstHate, ADL’s national initiative to shore up hate crime laws in all 50 states.

The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.