New York Mayor Eric Adams (D) is pledging to protect the Sikh community after a 66-year-old Sikh man was killed in the city last week.
“Jasmer Singh loved his city and deserved so much more than his tragic death. On behalf of all New Yorkers, I want our Sikh community to know you have more than our condolences,” Adams wrote in a post on X, a social media platform formerly known as Twitter, on Sunday.
“You have our sacred vow that we reject the hatred that took this innocent life and we will protect you.”
Adams also said in his X thread that he and his team will meet with Sikh community leaders this week “to discuss the needs of this critical community in this challenging moment.”
Jasmer Singh, 66, died after a physical altercation involving another driver that occurred on Queens’ Van Wyck Expressway.
Indian media outlet Hindustan Times reported that Singh, who was driving his wife from a doctor’s appointment, was involved in a vehicle collision with Gilbert Augustin.
A witness told the news outlet that they saw Augustin get out his vehicle and grab Singh’s cell phone, adding they heard an unidentified male voice saying “no police.”
Singh then got out of his own vehicle to confront Augustin, and after a brief argument, he retrieved his cell phone and started to walk back, according to the Hindustan Times.
But Augustin allegedly punched Singh in the head and face three times.
Singh was then transported to a nearby medical facility where he would succumb to the injuries.
Augustin, 30, has been arrested and charged with manslaughter, assault, aggravated unlicensed operator and leaving the scene of an accident. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges against him.
In an X post, the Sikh Coalition, a national organization dedicated to advancing Sikh Americans, said they’re aware of Singh’s death.
“We remain committed to standing together with all marginalized groups, who also stand with us, to push for better policies to counter and prevent bias-motivated violence,” the coalition said.