Sikh Community Asks for Justice

Feb 16, 2018

Gurlabh Singh reads a statement on behalf of the Sikh community, at the RI County Sheriff's Department
Credit WVIK News

Members of the Sikh community in the Quad Cities are hoping to keep up the pressure on local and state authorities after one of their members was the victim of a possible hate crime. In January, a driver for Uber, Gurjeet Singh, says a customer held a gun to his head and said "who are you loyal to ?" and "I hate turban people."

It was first investigated by the Rock Island County Sheriff's Department, then sent to the state's attorney. But due to a conflict of interest, John McGehee referred the case to the Illinois State's Attorney Appellate Prosecutors Office.

During a news conference at the sheriff's office Friday, Gurlabh Singh said there are nearly 200 Sikhs in the Quad Cities, and some have lived here for generations.

"We are your doctors, your business owners, and in Mr. Gurjeet Singh's case, your Uber drivers. We are your neighbors, we are your classmates, and your peers."

And he says an attack against one member of the community is an attack against them all. 

Charnjit Singh lives in Davenport.

"We want justice for Gurjeet Singh, not only for him but for everybody. We want justice for our kids and for Gurjeet Singh."

The possible hate crime occurred on January 28th - a couple leaving a bar in Moline called Uber for a ride home. Singh reported the incident to police the next day.

He's represented by a New York based group called the Sikh Coalition.