American Turban

Sikh stabbed in Fresno, CA: Can hate crimes be like trees in a forest?

On Sunday night, a 56-year-old Sikh man was stabbed at the Yosemite International Airport in Fresno, California:

Fresno police said Mitchell Dufur, 26, stabbed the Sikh man in his 50s in the upper torso Sunday evening near the security checkpoint. No words were exchanged before the attack. The man was standing with his translator when the attack occurred.

It is unclear whether this attack on the Sikh man occurred before or after the TSA security checkpoint.  The victim was treated for his wound – which was not life-threatening – and continued on to board his flight for India.

Dufur was apprehended and arrested by police after he fled the scene.  However, with no discernible motive, Fresno police are not treating this attack as a hate crime, as no words were exchanged between Dufur and his victim, and Dufur has not commented to police about his motive since being arrested.

Regardless, the FBI is now involved, and the Council of American-Islamic Relations have requested that the attack be investigated as a hate crime. The Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF) has also joined in this call.

While it can be said that there is currently no evidence that the attack on this Sikh was motivated by hate-bias, it can also be said that there is no evidence to rule it out either, and given the parties involved, the potential exists.  I’m glad that there is at least some consideration by the FBI to explore this as a hate crime, and hopefully this aspect is pursued with appropriate diligence.

However, it is disturbing that the only basis on whether this could be categorized as a hate crime is a statement by the attacker. If Dufur was motivated to attack the Sikh man purely for the victim’s appearance (i.e. because he was wearing a turban and beard), Dufur may elude charges for the hate crime because he has maintained his silence about his motives before and after his crime. This will allow him to elude full punishment for his crime.

How this case will play out remains to be seen, but I’m glad to know that the victim escaped major injury and that the suspect has been arrested.  With the unsolved murders of other Sikhs in the United States, Sikhs in this country and beyond now have another case to follow closely.

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5 comments

  1. XYZ

    Hmmm. Same Fresno/Clovis background, same age… still, could be someone else… except here the association is with ppl who have been reported to local LE for harassment (suspected hate crime origination) against other NRI’s. These types of ppl know each other, especially in Sacramento area, where “Aryan nation” set up hq after being run out of town elsewhere. Reason is possible investigative potential for names of interest that could lead to solving 2 Elk Grove cul de sac murders. There has not been an aggressive enough investigation into those, IMO due to same “turning of a right eye” expression from current German neo-nazi case.

  2. XYZ

    Heads UP: Golden Gate Solidarity is a NCal based right wing extremist hate group which target Sikhs and Hindus over Muslims for political/LE reasons. The GSS skinhead gangs meet up in bars etc. using their “music” bands – cover for drugs/weapons/plans. From Sacto burbs (Citrus Heights, Elk Grove to Wisconsin to Florida, everywhere. Not unusual to find LE linkages within their number. IMO GSS knows who did the Elk Grove killings (2 days after Lynch was killed and b4 GSS found out the lead singer of GSS is the one who killed (his partner) David Lynch Aryan Nation/American Front leader in a drug deal gone bad was let off lightly by the local LE. GSS band is linked to Wisconsin killings, and they’re up to something again. Why hasn’t LE cracked down on this? Your attorneys need to keep asking.

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