Sikh American Gunned Down in Phoenix, Arizona

August 10th, 2008

SALDEF urges swift police response and community vigilance

Washington, DC – August 10, 2008: On August 4, 2008, SALDEF was alerted to the vicious murder of 62-year-old Mr. Inderjit Singh Jassal, in Phoenix, Arizona.

Last Monday, Mr. Jassal was working at a 7-11 store in West Phoenix when a black male, later identified as 27 year-old Jermaine Canada, walked in with his two children, aged 2 and 6. According to the surveillance video, the two individuals had a short conversation, at the end of which Mr. Canada pulled a concealed firearm from his shirt and fatally killed Mr. Jassal.

The Phoenix Sikh American community is in a state of shock this week as a motive has not been found. Nothing was stolen and there is no confirmation that this killing was something other than a heinous crime motivated by hate.

“The Phoenix community has experienced a tremendous amount of hardship over the past seven years, since the attacks of 9/11” said SALDEF Western Regional Director Kavneet Singh. “This shooting is an utter tragedy and we hope that this case is prosecuted in a swift and appropriate manner.”

SALDEF has contacted the Phoenix Police Department about the incident as well as expressed concerns with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Justice to ensure the thorough investigation of this case. SALDEF will continue to work with leaders in the Phoenix community to ensure aggressive action in this matter.

We also urge all Sikh Americans to immediately report any incidents of harassment, bullying or assault to SALDEF and your local authorities. If you or someone you know has been a victim of any racially motivated crime, please contact SALDEF directly toll free at 877-917-4547 or via email at

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