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California Sikh man sues sheriff’s office for delaying investigations into racist threats

(RNS) — Rouble Paul Claire, a first-generation Sikh American, is suing Sutter County in the Sacramento metro area, claiming that authorities have failed to properly investigate and prosecute threats of racial slurs and violence he experienced a year ago. The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. Eastern District Court of California, claims the Sutter County Sheriff’s…

RNS] — Rouble Paul Claire is a first-generation Sikh American and is suing Sutter county in the Sacramento metropolitan area. He claims that authorities failed to properly investigate or prosecute threats of violence and racial insults he suffered a year ago.

The lawsuit ,, filed in the U.S. Eastern District Court of California alleges that the Sutter County Sheriff’s Office violated Mr. Claire’s civil rights by failing to properly investigate his case “based on Mr. Claire’s race/ethnicity and/or status hate crime victim .”

“.

It focuses on two incidents that occurred last May when Claire 66,, while shopping at a local grocery shop, was approached by a woman from his neighborhood. Claire claims that the woman in the suit called him “f g Hindu” before she drove toward him in a parking garage. Claire was able to see her car from behind as she made a sudden turn and slammed on the brakes. Claire ran back to the shop and called 911 with the assistance of an employee.

Claire claimed that the assailant ran over her dog in the suit. Claire claimed that he didn’t do such a thing.


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Later that day, a woman accused of being connected to the attacker wrote the words “Sand N r” in chalk on the sidewalk near his house and in his driveway. According to the lawsuit. She also called him “N” word. Claire again called 911.

Another deputy arrived at Claire’s house about a half an hour later. He “appeared disinterested” and “did not take any notes.” According to the lawsuit, another deputy responding to the chalking incident put water on the “N”, before leaving the home. The deputy also claimed to have “preserved and documented these racial epithets.” According to the lawsuit, both deputies were seen with the attacker.

Claire believes that there was sufficient evidence to prove a hate crime. This is after he and the assailant were questioned and chalking was seen in front of his house. He claimed in the lawsuit that the sheriff’s department “failed further to investigate or report the incidents .”

.”

” For months, after reporting the hateful acts immediately, I waited in silence for justice to come. “I didn’t want to have legal action against anyone but I believe this failure to justice is unacceptable: No person in our community should face this kind of hatred and bigotry,” Claire stated in a statement .

Chuck Smith, a spokesperson for the county, said he could not comment on pending litigation, adding that “the Sikh American community is a vital part of Sutter County.” Smith said the county “strives to ensure all residents feel safe, secure and free of being subjected to hate and discrimination.”

The suit seeks damages from both the county and the civil defendants for assault. Claire claims she suffered severe emotional distress and economic loss.

By December 2021, Claire was provided with legal guidance by the Sikh Coalition. The advocacy group met twice with Sutter County Sheriff Brandon Barnes, who “acknowledged that his deputies failed to follow proper investigatory protocol in the course of these cases

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