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US county sheriff faces flak for racist remark on Sikh

September 22, 2018 05:16 AM

COURTESY HT SEP 22

US county sheriff faces flak for racist remark on Sikh AG
In the Jan 16 audio, the law­enforcement official is heard saying that Gurbir Grewal was appointed attorney general because of ‘the turban’

Of ₹56 crore,
₹21 crore will be paid by the cooperative sugar mills with the assistance of the Punjab State Cooperative Bank. SUKHJINDER SINGH RANDHAWA, state jails minister

NEWYORK: Authorities in New Jersey have called for the resignation of a senior law enforcement official after a secret recording surfaced in which he allegedly made racist remarks about America’s first Sikh-American attorney general Gurbir Grewal over his turban.

Bergen county sheriff Michael Saudino allegedly made multiple controversial remarks in a January 16 conversation that took place after Phil Murphy was inaugurated as governor of New Jersey, the recordings of which were obtained by WNYC.

In the audio, Saudino is heard saying that New Jersey governor Phil Murphy appointed Grewal because of “the turban”.

“He didn’t do that because of

Bergen County, he did that because of the turban,” Saudino said of Murphy’s selection of Grewal, who at the time was the Bergen County prosecutor.

Grewal tweeted that he had listened to the recording. “If that’s in fact, sheriff Saudino’s voice, then he should resign immediately,” Grewal said.

Grewal further tweeted that he has “got thick skin and I’ve been called far worse. But the comments about the African-American community are wrong, racist,

and hurtful. The comments about our lieutenant governor are inappropriate and homophobic. New Jersey and Bergen County deserve better.”

In July this year, Grewal was racially targeted by two radio hosts who repeatedly called him the “turban man” on air.

Murphy is also called for the resignation of Saudino following the emergence of the secret recording. In the audio, Saudino, using expletives, says: “Let the blacks come in. Smoke their marijuana, do this do that, and don’t worry about it. You know, we’ll tie the hands of cops...”

On lieutenant governor Sheila Oliver, he is heard asking if she is gay “Because she’s never been married”. WNYC said in a report that the conversation was recorded on January 16, following Murphy’s gubernatorial inauguration, which Saudino attended. The report quoted Murphy as saying that “without question, the comments made on that recording are appalling, and anyone using racist, homophobic, and hateful language is unfit for

public office.” He added that if indeed that is Saudino’s voice on the recording, “he must resign”.

A report in NJ.com said Saudino offered his “sincere apology” to people of Bergen County for the “insensitive recorded remarks” made public. In a statement issued by the Bergen County sheriff’s office director of communications, he said.

“In an effort to repair the damage to the friendships that I have built with these communities, I have reached out directly to several respected leaders in the communities I have offended and I have personally offered my apologies and I have asked for their forgiveness and for their communities’ forgiveness.

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