Councilmembers’ Statement Following Shooting of Deep Rai, Sikh Kent Resident

SEATTLE – All nine Seattle City Councilmembers issued the following statement after India-born Kent resident, Deep Rai, was attacked in his driveway in Kent on Friday, allegedly being told “go back to your own country” before being shot:

“Seattle is home to thousands of South Asian community members.  We began last week by condemning anti-Semitic hate. We start this week by condemning the violent and xenophobic attack that injured Deep Rai, a Kent Resident and member of the Sikh community, in his very own driveway. We will continue to speak out against hate crimes in our City and region to ensure that people are held accountable for their actions when these heinous acts are committed.

“Hate is born out of ignorance and perpetuated by complacency. In moments like this it is vital that community leaders call out hate to make it abundantly clear we do not accept it as normal. We will fight against ignorance and complacency by continuing to create a community where people can be their full selves without fear of harassment or violence.

“Last week the City of Seattle launched the Bias Hurts Campaign which features a hotline to report bias harassment. People should call the City’s hotline if they experience discriminatory harassment in housing, employment, or public places that does not rise to the level of a crime. The Campaign also includes outreach by the Seattle Office for Civil Rights to conduct meetings with community groups across the city to learn what people are experiencing and how the city can proactively address them.

“Anyone who experiences bias related crimes including physical violence, property damage or threats should call 911 to report directly to the police. If the incident has already occurred, the immediate danger is over and there are no injuries, call (206) 625-5011.

“We wish Deep Rai a full recovery and hope that he and his family have the community support they need to feel safe at home. To Seattle’s Sikh community, we want you to know – we will always stand with you.”

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