New York, Feb 1 (IANS): A US court has ruled in favour of an elderly Sikh who had accused a Northern California sheriff's office of inadequately investigating racist threats against him in 2021.
Rouble Claire, 66, had sued the Sutter County Sheriff's Office as well as the Sutter County for inadequately probing hate-based threats against him, US-based advocacy group Sikh Coalition said.
"This settlement is a step forward for my own peace of mind, but more importantly, it will hopefully help to ensure that nothing like my experience ever happens to anyone in Sutter County again," Claire said.
On May 11, 2021, Claire was accosted by a woman at a store in South Butte Market, who started shouting profanities and slurs at him.
Threatening to "ram" him with her car, she then got into the vehicle and sped towards him before swerving away at the last minute.Later that day, another individual connected to the woman in the first incident wrote the word "SAND N*GGER" in chalk on the sidewalk outside Claire's house and on his driveway, and called him "n*gger" when he went outside, the court heard.
The Sutter County Sheriff's Office (SCSO) failed to properly investigate either incident that day, the Sikh Coalition said in a release.
It further said that the officers tampered with the evidence of the crimes by attempting to wash away the hateful slurs on Claire's driveway before taking photographs.
The SCSO then refused to reopen the investigation for many months, the advocacy group for Sikhs said.In May 2022, Claire filed a 41-page civil lawsuit against deputies of the Sutter County Sheriff's Office, Sutter County, and the women accused of racist threats.
"I think this is a very significant win not just for Mr Claire, but for the community. This is an acknowledgment that something was mishandled, that in fact something did go awry and Mr Claire did not receive the justice that he deserves," attorney Gina Szeto-Wong, co-counsel of the civil case, told abc10 channel.
The Sikh Coalition is urging the Sutter County District Attorney's Office to investigate the case and file criminal charges.