Deputy Sandeep Dhaliwal, the Harris County Texas Sheriff’s Deputy who was killed in the line of duty during a traffic stop, made a historical first on the department when he was allowed to wear his turban on patrol because of his Sikh religion.
“Deputy Dhaliwal is known to everybody as someone with a giving heart,” the sheriff, Ed Gonzalez, said in a news conference. He was the “first member of the Sikh community to become a Harris County Sheriff’s Deputy. He wore the turban. He represented his community with integrity, respect and pride and… he was respected by all.”
Dhaliwal’s death left the department and community heartbroken, as he was remembered as a trailblazing law enforcement officer who was dedicated to service. Authorities say that Dhaliwal was “ambushed” by a suspect with a violent criminal history who ran up behind him during a traffic stop.
“I’m sad to share with you that we’ve lost one of our own. Our @HCSOTexas was unable to recover from his injuries. There are no words to convey our sadness. Please keep his family and our agency in your prayers,” Gonzalez announced on Twitter. He touched countless of lives along the way. A legacy that will never be forgotten. We will aspire to be as good as he was,” the sheriff wrote.
In the press conference, the Sheriff called Dhaliwal “a hero, a respected member of the community and a trailblazer.” Houston’s mayor wrote that Dhaliwal “represented the diversity and inclusiveness of our community and everything that is good.”
We honor you, Sandeep Dhaliwal.