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Posted at: May 26, 2019, 6:57 AM; last updated: May 26, 2019, 1:31 PM (IST)HATE CRIME

Learn about Sikhs as part of sentence: US judge

Says bigotry is the result of ignorance, all benefit from cultures in community
Learn about Sikhs as part of sentence: US judge
Andrew Ramsey

Salem, May 25

A judge has ordered an Oregon man to learn about the Sikh religion and submit a report to the court as part of his sentence for an attack on a Sikh shopkeeper in Salem.

Andrew Ramsey pleaded guilty to misdemeanour counts of intimidation and assault in the January 14 incident targeting Harwinder Singh Dodd, the Sikh Coalition, the largest Sikh civil rights organisation in the US, said in a release.

Intimidation count is considered a hate crime, it said.

Dodd, who came to the US from India and owns the convenience store, noted in a written statement to the court that hate crimes are on the rise in America. The FBI says hate crimes increased by 40 per cent in Oregon from 2016 to 2017. “He didn’t see me as a person,” Dodd said of Ramsey. “He attacked me because of how I look. Because of my turban and beard — my religious articles of faith.”

Police said Ramsey also threw his shoe at Dodd and snatched his turban.

Marion County Judge Lindsay Partridge ordered Ramsey to attend the annual Sikh parade in June in Salem and report to the court what he learned about the Sikh community and culture, the Statesman Journal newspaper of Salem reported.

“Bigotry is the result of ignorance,” Partridge said. “All of us are able to learn and benefit from cultures in our community.”

He also sentenced Ramsey to three years of probation and 180 days in jail, with credit for time served, the newspaper said.

Partridge said mandatory drug, alcohol and mental health treatment was the best option for Ramsey, who has convictions for methamphetamine possession, domestic violence assault and theft.

Ramsey said he has had mental health problems and was ready to accept help.

In 2018, members of Salem’s Sikh community joined other volunteers to aid 124 immigrants who were sent to a federal prison in nearby Sheridan by the Trump administration. — AP


Andrew Ramsey is accused of pulling the victim’s beard after he refused to sell him cigarettes without an ID. He also punched him and pulled him to the ground. Bystanders restrained Ramsey until police arrived.


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