Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Saturday condemned the killing of an Indian-American-Sikh police officer in the U.S. State of Texas.
Sandeep Singh Dhaliwal, who made headlines in the U.S. when he was allowed to grow a beard and wear a turban on the job, was shot and killed in an “ambush-style” attack in a “ruthless, cold-blooded way”, a senior official of Harris County said on Saturday.
“Deeply anguished to learn the ruthless killing of Deputy Sheriff of Harris County, Sandeep Singh Dhaliwal. He represented the Sikh community with pride and was the first turbaned police officer of America. My condolences to his family. RIP,” the Chief Minister tweeted
Dhaliwal, who was in his early 40s, was the first police officer in Texas to serve while keeping his Sikh articles of faith, including a turban and beard.
Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said Dhaliwal, a 10-year veteran of the department, stopped a vehicle with a man and woman inside and one of them got out and shot him “ambush-style” at least twice in a “ruthless, cold-blooded way” on Friday.
The gunman and the woman were taken into custody, officials said.
Dhaliwal was married and a father of three children.
Since 2015, Dhaliwal was the “history-making” police officer in Texas to serve while keeping his Sikh articles of faith. He was allowed to wear the turban and beard while patrolling the streets in order to bolster cultural diversity.
With this policy, one of the largest sheriff’s offices in the U.S. had affirmed that a person does not have to choose between their faith and a career of service.