Trailblazing sheriff’s deputy killed in line of duty

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Harris County Sheriff’s Deputy Sandeep Dhaliwal was shot and killed during a traffic stop on Sept. 27.

Dhaliwal was a beloved member of the community, known as a Harvey hero and the first Sikh in America to wear a turban while on duty.

Dhaliwal, 42, made headlines in 2015 when he successfully petitioned the Harris County Sheriff’s Office to change its uniform policy to allow Dhaliwal, an observing Sikh, to wear his turban and grow out his beard. He became a national symbol for religious freedom and inclusivity for law enforcement officers.

He earned further adoration from the local community during Hurricane Harvey. In the aftermath of the devastating storm, Dhaliwal collaborated with the humanitarian group United Sikhs to bring truckloads of supplies to affected areas.

Dhaliwal was also known for his considerable humanitarian efforts, both in the United States and globally.

According to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, Dhaliwal was conducting a routine traffic stop at 12:23 p.m. when the shooting occurred. Authorities allege that Dhaliwal pulled over Robert Solis, 47, who then shot Dhaliwal from behind as he returned to his patrol car.

Solis had an active warrant out for his arrest at the time of the incident. Solis allegedly fled the scene but was apprehended a short while later. He has been charged with capital murder and was denied bail.

Dhaliwal leaves behind a wife and three young children. A Facebook fundraiser by United Sikhs has collected nearly $400,000 for Dhaliwal’s family. A GoFundMe campaign organized by Sikhs of Houston has also raised nearly $400,000 for the family.

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