Justice for Lakhwant Singh - get Eric Breeman charged with hate crime.
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On April 29, 2020, Lakhwant Singh (61) - a Sikh American husband and father - was working at his store in Lakewood, Colorado when he was brutally attacked by a customer.
The attacker, Eric Breeman (36), entered the store Mr. Singh owns with his wife, and began harassing them. He damaged several items in the store, shouted profanity and told the couple multiple times to "go back to your country." After repeatedly asking Breeman to leave, he finally did and Mr. Singh went outside to the parking lot to take a photo of Breeman's license plate in order to report the harassment. Breeman then used his vehicle to ram Mr. Singh, throwing him several feet across the parking lot. Afterwards, Breeman went on a crime spree resulting in two additional assaults. At the time of the attacks, he was out on bond for other criminal offenses.
Mr. Singh suffered a broken left arm, broken ribs, internal bleeding, a possible clavicle fracture, spinal fracture and staples in his head because of the attack. He was only recently transferred to a rehabilitation facility after a month at the hospital.
Breeman was arrested on April 30, 2020, and the investigation is ongoing. His preliminary hearing date is scheduled for July 24, 2020. After his arrest, police officers said that Breeman referred to Mr. Singh as an "older arab."
“There is absolutely nothing to indicate that race played any role in this crime, so it was not a hate crime,” Pam Russell, spokesperson for the district attorney’s office, told indica. “Very often defendants and victims are different races.”
Asked if “go back to your country” was not racial, DA spokesperson Russell said: “Unfortunately, that kind of talk happens all too often, but that in itself is enough for us to be able to prove he was targeted/attacked for his race.”
Sikh Coalition's legal team has sent a letter to the Jefferson County District Attorney's Office and the Lakewood County Police Department pushing for an investigation into felony hate crime charges under Colorado's bias-motivated crime statute.
“No one deserves to be targeted because of who they are, and I hope that sharing my story sheds further light on the hatred and bigotry faced by Sikhs and others across the country,” said Mr. Singh. “Colorado is my home, and I urge the authorities in charge of my attacker’s case to demonstrate, through action, that crimes rooted in hate will not be tolerated.”
Hate crimes of all kind should not be tolerated. What happened to Mr. Singh clearly had racial bias. Sign this petition to make sure Eric Breeman does get charged with a hate crime felony. Let this set precedent for future legal matters.
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