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Gay Immigrant Satendar Singh Killed in Holiday Hate Crime

A few days before the 4th of July holiday, 26-year-old Satendar Singh, a Fijian national who India-West says "won a visa to the U.S. through the immigration lottery" was targeted and killed by attackers at Lake Natoma, California while picnicking allegedly because of his race and sexuality.

Satender_singhFriends say "an ugly attack laced with racist and homophobic slurs" led up to a group of Russian men attacking Singh with their fists, and some say, brass knuckles.

The attack was unprovoked, say friends: "The group had arrived at the lake at approximately 2 that afternoon. According to various accounts later recounted in the Sacramento Bee, a group of Russian men nearby began directing their comments toward Singh, an employee with a local AT&T call center who had been in this country for seven years. Despite his last name, Singh wore neither a turban nor a beard, aside from a small goatee. As he and his friends settled in to enjoy an early Fourth of July celebration, the Russian men began making several racial and homophobic remarks to Singh. 'I'm not pretty sure, but I think (Singh) responded by saying he wasn't a gay,' one of Singh's friends who witnessed the incident and who preferred to remain anonymous for fear of retribution, told India-West. 'I told them we had come to enjoy the day and that we didn't want to get into a fight or something, and I thought it was all over.'"

But it wasn't over.

Lakenatoma"'They were targeting him because Satendar was dancing to Indian music throughout the rest of the day, like the rest of us...I don't know what (the Russians) were saying or if Satendar said something back, but then it happened,' the witness said. One of the men from the Russian group came over and hit Singh in the face. Some witnesses claim that Singh's attacker had assaulted him with a 'knuckle duster' or pair of brass knuckles, but the witness could not confirm that any such weapon was used. The blow caused Singh to fall and hit his head on the concrete pavement. Almost immediately, he began bleeding from the head. After handing his phone to a woman standing next to him, 'I ran after the guy and he threw a bottle at me, but I couldn't catch him,' he told India-West."

Singh, who had been living in America for seven years, died four days later of head trauma sustained in the attack. Police are investigating the attack as a homicide while trying to gather evidence on its status as a hate crime.

Equality California has jumped on the case. Said Executive Director Geoff Kors: "First and foremost our thoughts go out to Mr. Singh, his family and his friends. If the attack on Mr. Singh turns out to be motivated by hate against any particular group, California's hate crimes law can and should be applied. This potential hate crime reminds us that it is time for the federal hate crimes statute to catch up to be similarly inclusive. We need to embrace policies that encourage people to respect our diverse society. If the Sacramento Sheriff's Department asked for help from the federal government in this case, federal law enforcement officials could get involved if the crime turns out to be motivated by racial bias, but not if it was prompted only by anti-LGBT bias. That gross inconsistency needs to change."

Young Fiji Indian Killed in Alleged Hate Crime Incident [india west]
Legislation Follows Brutal Racist/Homophobic Attack [san francisco bay times]

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Comments

  1. This was definitely a crime of hate. There was no robbery, no mutual insults hurled, no person to person combate--just plain racist and anti-gay HATE. I'm not even sure if people from certain parts of the world are even aware that such violent hatred is so common in the United States. They know it happens in Rwanda, Sudan, Bosnia (by the Serbs); but they don't know it happens so often here in "the land of the free, and the home of the brave"

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Jul 13, 2007 9:52:20 AM


  2. I was SOOO pissed when I heard about this. Those people always are out protesting the pride parade every year. They bring their kids out with signs saying "sodomy is a sin" Clearly it's a Christian value to teach your kids hate. And I live several blocks away from the church that pumps out all these hate mongers. It's really frustrating since they all immigrated here claiming religious persecution you would think they would leave others alone, but apparently not.

    Posted by: Scott | Jul 13, 2007 10:43:49 AM


  3. Welcome to America, Satendar!

    Posted by: Becks07 | Jul 13, 2007 11:01:42 AM


  4. What are the odds that the Russians were drunk? And members of a gang?

    Posted by: anon (gmail.com) | Jul 13, 2007 11:19:38 AM


  5. He looks very flamey. That arguably doesn't excuse the killing, but he could have been more careful.

    Posted by: Bart | Jul 13, 2007 11:33:04 AM


  6. This is such a sad story. It is perplexing to see LGBT hate crimes being disregarded from the federal system, this is certainly an important issue that needs to be brought to the forefront of the debate for the 08 presidential elections.

    Posted by: Rafael | Jul 13, 2007 11:35:04 AM


  7. He looks very flamey. That arguably doesn't excuse the killing, but he could have been more careful.

    Posted by: Bart | Jul 13, 2007 11:33:04 AM

    Andy, this troll poster needs to be banned. Or do you want to drive every single one of us to JMG?

    Posted by: bamjaya | Jul 13, 2007 11:54:24 AM


  8. Bart,

    You seem to be suggesting that an individual is responsible for modifying behavior so he isn't murdered by someone else. Taking the hate crime aspect out of it for a moment, murder is murder, law is law, and we need to reevaluate a government that makes certain murders more excusable than others. There's nothing "arguable" about excusing the killing; it's inexcusable.

    Until we live in a country where Singh could wear a tutu in a national park, none of us are safe no matter our orientation, race, or other defining factor. What group will be next?

    Posted by: OY | Jul 13, 2007 11:54:48 AM


  9. Careful about what, Bart? I don't give a damn if he was wearing a Las Vegas showgirl outfit! He was in a public place, paid for with HIS tax money, in a free society. He shouldn't have had to be "careful" about a damn thing!

    I wish that they would stop wasting so much time trying to figure out WHAT to call this crime and just go FIND the motherfuckers already!

    Posted by: soulbrotha | Jul 13, 2007 12:01:14 PM


  10. Does BAMJAYA not believe in free speach? You may not agree with what Bart is saying, but he has every right to say/write it.

    Posted by: Spike | Jul 13, 2007 12:51:07 PM


  11. Bart:
    Usually I go into a flaming fit when a gay man say what you just said, but calmer heads have already spoken quite intelligently to you-- about what you said. Believe it or not, Bart, it's not the most flamboyant queens who are "chosen" to be bashed or lynched by straight (and closeted or "down-low" homo)savages. The more flamboyant queens tend to carry weapons to protect themselves, and they only "carry on" in public when they're in groups. Often the most dangerous gay-bashers "choose" a gay man who appears vulnerable and usually when he's by himself. (I've been in both situations, Bart). This young man was simply trying to enjoy America's birthday 'cause he was glad to be in this country.

    Soulbrotha', you're right--just find the filthy savages, then worry about what to charge them with later.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Jul 13, 2007 1:11:34 PM


  12. Bart, you're kidding right?

    Posted by: Shabaka | Jul 13, 2007 1:24:55 PM


  13. Bart has revealed what I might call an inconvenient truth. What he says is awful. But can you deny that Singh fits a profile? I think we need to hear these things even if we don't like them. Fight back brothers, but don't deny anyone their right to free speech.

    Posted by: MidnightPrince69 | Jul 13, 2007 3:03:13 PM


  14. NO ONE deserves to be murdered. Period.

    Oh, sorry, unless they aren't being careful about looking a little too flamey. Or a little too black. Or a little too Jewish. Or a little too dykie. Or a little too Sunni. Or...

    Posted by: Carl Hendrickson | Jul 13, 2007 5:11:21 PM


  15. OMG, I can't believe what people say here. First, free speech IS NOT equal to a racist, derogatory or hatred statement. Just like I shouldn't call any caucasians, red neck, white trash, scallys, pale meat or barbarian. Just like I shouldn't generalize Amercian gay white men as air-head, image-oriented, insolent, selfish and total insecure about themselves. Please, guys, open your eyes, respect yourself and respect other people who are different from you.

    Posted by: Adam | Jul 13, 2007 8:10:05 PM


  16. speak for yourself Bamjaya...it's a different opinion/perspective...whether you agree or not, it's not threatening anyone....stop acting like you're the boss of this website or that people will leave just because you said so...this website gets like 2 million hits a month...you won't be missed.

    Posted by: TruthHurts | Jul 14, 2007 7:01:27 PM


  17. this story is sad, but that shows that LGBT should live their lives carefully!

    Posted by: jay | Jul 22, 2007 8:23:45 PM


  18. THIS IS A VERY UNFORTINATE THING. THE GUY DID NOT DESERVE THIS. ON THE OTHER HAND, IT IS WRONG TO MAKE REDICILOUS ACCUSATIONS LIKE ....OH THE RUSSINAS HAD BRASS KNUCKELS, WERE DRUNK, THEY'RE IN A GANG AND SO ON AND SO FORTH, ITS ALL BULLSHIT. GAY PEOPLE ARE USED TO ALWAYS SAYING THAT ITS A HATE CRIME. THATS CRAP AND EVERYONE KNOWS IT. THIS WAS NOT PLANNED. IT JUST HAPPENED. THE RUSSIANS CAN SAY THE SAME THING, IT WAS HATE CRIME AGAINS THEM. WHAT IF THE GAY GUY WAS SAYING RACIAL COMMENTS ABOUT THE RUSSIAN? WE DONT LOOK AT THAT. JUST LOOK AT THE BIG PICTURE. THE GAY GUY COULD OF AVOIDED THIS WHOLE CONFRONTATION BUT INSTEAD DECIDED TO PISS OF THE RUSSIAN AND HE GOT WHAT HE DESERVED.

    Posted by: CHRISLANGLEY | Sep 4, 2007 5:08:53 PM


  19. THAT FUCKIN HOMO GOT WHAT HE DESERVE. IF HE WANT TO FLOSS HIS FUCKIN CRACK WITH HISS BUDDIES SHIRT THATS FINE.........DONT DO IT IN PUBLIC IN FRONT OF KIDS YOU GAY ASS MOTHER FUCKERS

    Posted by: CHIKO LOPEZ | Sep 4, 2007 5:28:07 PM


  20. Gays are mentally ill people and need to stay in their closets not be proud of their desease and show it in public.

    Posted by: Ivan | Dec 30, 2008 3:06:30 AM


  21. oh Ivan, you and CHIKO LOPEZ should come out of your closets so you can stop having sex in the public restrooms.

    Posted by: Ivan is Gay | Dec 30, 2008 8:13:15 AM


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