HomeCrimePolice Open Up Hate Crime Investigation in Stabbing Death of Store Clerk

Police Open Up Hate Crime Investigation in Stabbing Death of Store Clerk

Jagjeet Singh
Jagjeet Singh
By Len Patel
AsAmNews Correspondent 

 

AsAmNews has confirmed with the Modesto Police Department in California’s Central Valley that the murder of a Sikh convenience store clerk last week is being investigated as a possible hate crime.

“We are exploring all possibilities,” said a department spokesperson this morning. “Yes, it is a possible hate crime.”

Jagjeet Singh was stabbed to death outside a convenience store after he refused to sell single cigarettes to a man on May 4. According to the Modesto Bee, a White man in his 20’s became angry, waited for Singh to come outside the store, and then stabbed him.

Both the Sikh Coalition and South Asian Americans Leading Together had demanded that authorities look into whether race or religion played a part in this incident.

Ramesh Kumar
Ramesh Kumar

The same day that Singh was killed, Dr. Ramesh Kumar was found shot dead in a car at a rest stop near Detroit, Michigan. SAALT is also asking police to investigate this case as a possible hate crime as well.

“Our communities have faced a hostile climate of hate for years, with particular intensity since President Trump took office. This makes race as a possible motivation in these tragic killings a very real possibility,” stated Suman Raghunathan, Executive Director of SAALT. “The President’s divisive rhetoric and policies have fanned the flames of violence against our communities since his campaign, and now in his Presidency. Unfortunately, broad swaths of our nation’s residents face hostility and violence as a result of the xenophobic and anti-Muslim rhetoric advanced by President Trump.”

Singh, 32, had only been working at the store for a few weeks. He immigrated to America from India. He is survived by a wife and two children, ages 7 and 9.

Kumar, 32, was a urologist at Henry Ford Hospital.

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