A California man has been charged with hate crime after a video of him abusing an Indian-American man went viral on social media.
Fremont police said 37-year-old Tejinder Singh from Union City, who is an Indian-American himself and identifies as a Sikh, verbally attacked a Hindu man at a Taco Bell outlet on 21 August.
When Krishnan Jayaraman went to pick up his order at the outlet that day, the Sikh man started his rant: “You are a Hindu who bathes in cow urine. Indian people are a joke. Look at this nasty s***.”
He continued the verbal onslaught: “You’re disgusting, dog. You look nasty. Don’t come out in public like this again” and spat at Mr Jayaraman’s face twice.
“This ain’t India! You…India up, and now you’re…America up,” the man said.
Mr Singh has been charged with hate crime in violation of civil rights, assault and disturbing the peace by offensive language.
The racist slurs were captured in an eight-minute video by Mr Jayaraman, who later shared it online.
“I was scared, to be honest with you,” Mr Jayaraman told NBC News. “I was infuriated on the one hand, but I was scared that what if this guy becomes too belligerent and then comes after me?”
Sean Washington, the Fremont police department chief, said in a statement: “We would like to urge the community to be respectful of each other and to immediately report any circumstances such as this that, upon investigation, may rise to the level of a crime. In the event of a hate crime, we will devote all available resources to follow up and investigate.”
Meanwhile, Mr Jayaraman said that he was disappointed to learn that the man was also an Indian-American.
According to the US Department of Justice, there were 8,052 single-bias hate crime incidents involving 11,126 victims in 2020.
“In 211 incidents, a total of 346 victims were targeted because of more than one bias,” the department said.