I am participating in 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes 2019 (all of my submissions can be found here).
Today’s prompt is: SCARED
How often was Sandeep Dhaliwal scared during his service as a deputy with Houston’s Sheriff’s Department?
Dhaliwal was killed in the line of duty last month, shot in the back.
He joined the department after there had been tension between the Sikh community in Houston and law enforcement. A speaker came to their place of worship and essentially said, “the best way to change things is from the inside.”
Dhaliwal left behind a career as a truck driver and, I think, a pizza store owner, to answer what he felt was his call: to change things from the inside.
I also heard that at first he didn’t wear his turban or beard. When the rules were changed that made it possible, his superior officer said he didn’t have to do it — that it would single him out.
But Dhaliwal wanted the Sikh community to know they had a friend in law enforcement.
Everything I read and watched reflected what a great man he was — helpful to his community and his peers, generous, patient. His sister talks more about him here:
I try to imagine what it must be like to be a law enforcement officer these days, even without the added burden of being a trailblazer for an entire group of people. I don’t imagine Houston is the easiest place to look so different.
I know I would be scared every. single. day.
Whatever Sandeep Dhaliwal felt, he served us all. I am grateful for his example.