A sheriff's deputy was shot and killed Friday afternoon in the Houston suburbs during a routine traffic stop. Sandeep Dhaliwal was the first observant Sikh to become a sheriff's deputy in Harris County, where Houston is located. He was a "hero" and a "trailblazer," Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez told reporters on Friday. "He wore the turban. He represented his community with integrity, respect and pride," Gonzalez said. "And again, he was respected by all."
Dhaliwal was 42, a married father of three and a 10-year veteran of the Harris County Sheriff's Office. He made national headlines in early 2015 when the sheriff's office changed its policy to allow Dhaliwal to grow out his facial hair and wear a traditional Sikh turban while on patrol.
We are Sikh National Center, a 501(c)3 religious organization of which Deputy Sandeep Dhaliwal was an active member. We are aware that there are others collecting funds on GoFundMe and other platforms for the benefit of the family of Deputy Dhaliwal. However, as his home temple, we feel that our community should be raising funds for his family and in his memory. Our temple members were asking why we were not doing so. They felt reluctant to donate to funds started by others. We do not want to stand in the way of Deputy Dhaliwal’s family receiving any potential blessing.
The funds will be kept in the Sikh National Center Benevolence account until the end of the campaign. At that time all of the funds will be given to Deputy Dhaliwal’s family (or a trust set up by them) for their purposes.