Key Suspect in Satender Singh Murder Fled U.S. [3 UPDATES]

In memory of Satender Singh.jpg Breaking news: mutineer Mark, who has done an outstanding job of keeping the SM community apprised of the aftermath (or lack of) of Satender Singh’s vicious, senseless murder, points us to The Sacramento Bee, for news we have all been waiting for, about this hate crime:

A month after the death of a Fijian man on a river beach, Sacramento County Sheriff’s detectives have identified the man who allegedly threw the lethal punch and then fled the country, officials confirmed Tuesday.
Sheriff’s spokesman Tim Curran said that 29-year-old Andrey Vusik of West Sacramento is the key suspect in the July 1 assault on Satender Singh at Lake Natoma — an act of violence many of Singh’s friends and supporters say was fueled by homophobia and hate.

Singh was salaciously enjoying himself, by hanging out with his friends, hugging them, dancing around…you know, very gay activities. He should have known better than to hug people. Or dance.

Vusik was identified as a suspect from witness statements, according to Curran. Sheriff’s officials would not specify what country he fled to and said they do not know his precise whereabouts.
“We believe he’s out of the country and we’re working with the FBI to locate him,” Curran said.

Well, at least there’s this:

Vusik’s relatives here are cooperating with homicide detectives, Curran said.
A warrant for Vusik’s arrest on suspicion of manslaughter was issued July 27. It remained unclear Tuesday when or whether Vusik would return to California to face charges.

For those of us who wondered about whether it would be considered a hate crime:

Curran also said investigators have uncovered information — including statements made before Singh was punched — that could support a hate crime enhancement should the District Attorney’s Office decide to file that count.

Wait, there’s more:

Detectives have also questioned a second suspect connected to the assault: Aleksander Shevchenko, 21, also of West Sacramento. According to authorities, Shevchenko was also involved in the altercation. He was arrested late Monday on suspicion of intimidation, also a hate crime.

Satender died almost exactly a month ago, after being punched and then striking his head on the base of a picnic table so hard, he damaged his brain stem. The group which attacked Satender had been harassing him and his friends all day, for their ethnicity and their perceived sexual orientation. For shame.

::

UPDATE #2:

As those of you who have been participating in the comment thread below already know, The Sacramento Bee has another, more explosive article about this outrageous hate crime (Thanks, Amita):

About what the suspect would be charged with:

Vusik is charged with involuntary manslaughter rather than murder because the evidence does not show any intent to kill Singh, the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office said in a statement released Tuesday.

Singh’s family reacts:

But Tuesday’s action brought at least one family closer to a resolution.
“We are relieved that he will have justice,” said Singh’s uncle Camie Bhuie, “and we hope they can bring back the other culprit soon.”…
Singh’s friends and supporters have said the assault was fueled by homophobia and hate, coming after a string of racial slurs and anti-gay jibes allegedly made by a Russian-speaking group at the state park.

About the accused (who was identified in my original post, but I don’t mind naming shame again):

Homicide investigators say Vusik threw the lethal punch.
The West Sacramento man, whose wife and children remain in the area, is still at large in Russia, where he is being sought on a charge of involuntary manslaughter and committing a hate crime, said Sgt. Connie Merkins of the sheriff’s homicide bureau.

Here’s the best, and by best, I mean worst part of the article– he invokes “self-defense”:

In an interview with The Bee, Vusik’s wife, Tatyana, insisted he is innocent and acted in self-defense — not out of hate. She characterized Singh’s death as an accident..
The other suspect in the case, Shevchenko, surrendered voluntarily at his home Monday, according to Merkins. He is charged with intimidation and interfering with a victim’s rights, which is also a hate crime.

Wait- how many years would this hate-fueled criminal serve?

If convicted, Vusik could face a maximum of eight years in prison, while Shevchenko faces a maximum of three years. Shevchenko, who remained at the main jail in lieu of $25,000 bail, could not be reached Tuesday.
In the weeks since Singh’s death, Tatyana Vusik said she has struggled with the serious accusations that have clouded her family and the larger Slavic community. The crime, she said through a Russian translator, has become exaggerated in political circles. She said gay activists are trying to make an example of her husband, who she says is “a good man.

This is Vusik’s version of what happened that day:

That day at Lake Natoma, Tatyana Vusik said she and her family were relaxing and enjoying the view…
It seemed like a pleasant afternoon, Tatyana Vusik said, until a neighboring party — which included Singh — grew raucous. She said the revelers were drinking alcohol, swearing loudly and dancing provocatively.
The mother said she then saw Singh leap onto a table, swishing his shirt between his legs. Others around him smashed bottles. She said she saw two men kissing.

That’s obviously worth killing someone over. I love that they chose to use the word, “swishing”. And am I the only one who finds it difficult to believe that they were breaking bottles? If you’re going to impugn a murder victim, at least come up with a better lie.

As several of you have pointed out, the following sentence is the most outrageous, hypocritical and disturbing.

“We’re a Christian family,” Tatyana Vusik said.
She said she asked her husband to tell Singh’s group to calm down, that there were children present.

Blame the victim! Blame the victim!

At that point, Tatyana Vusik said, the other group began attacking her family verbally, telling them to go back to Russia. She said the group cursed at her and her sister, Dasha Yakovchuk.

Someone needs to point out to this…person…that none of that justifies punching someone. Hey, look! More defamation:

Tatyana Vusik recalled that it was Singh who first mentioned “gay” as part of a crude sexual invitation apparently meant for her husband.

And how did her husband respond? That noble, brave, good-natured man tried to defuse the situation, with humor (and then his fist!):

She recalled that her husband said the atmosphere was growing tense, so he used the word “gay” as part of a joke.
She said neither she nor her husband is part of any anti-gay group or movement.

More shameless finger-pointing:

An earlier version of events from the Sheriff’s Department has confirmed that there was a confrontation between the two groups, but that the “Russian-speaking” group had hurled homophobic slurs at Singh and racial remarks at him and his friends, according to witness statements.
That’s what they say, but they don’t know the truth,” Yakovchuk told The Bee in an interview Tuesday. “It was exactly the other way around.”
Tatyana recalled that after the exchange began, she, her sister and the children left the park. Her husband and Shevchenko and another friend stayed behind.

Why? Why did they stay behind, if their “families” were leaving what was supposed to be a pure Christian, “family outting”? To try and defuse the tension with more humor? Hmmm. Maybe they were going to pray for Satender, since he was going to hell for two reasons, instead of just one!!

Soft punch. SOFT PUNCH. That’s what comes next in this grossly offensive, poorly-concocted story:

When Vusik came home later that night, he told his wife there was a confrontation, and he acted in self-defense. She recalled that Vusik said Singh had lifted a broken glass bottle and aimed at him. He threw a “soft punch” and ran away, Tatyana Vusik said.

Soft enough to knock a man down and send him hurtling backwards until his head bounced off the base of a picnic table? That sort of “soft”?

This is important:

Sheriff’s detectives said there are no accounts from independent witnesses or any of Singh’s friends that support that account.

More bullshit:

Tatyana Vusik said her husband had no idea that Singh had died when he left in early July for a business trip exporting vehicles.

Obstruct justice much?

She refused to disclose her husband’s whereabouts, but said she has spoken with him at least twice a week since he left.
In their phone conversations, she said, Andrey Vusik has repeatedly expressed his condolences to Singh’s family. She said he is having a difficult time grasping the gravity of the crime.

Further bovine fecal matter spouting:

“We just got in the confrontation between the churches and the gay community; what happened was a tragic accident, and had nothing to do with gays,” she said through a translator.

Special place in hell, for anyone who helps cover up a crime; extra furnace points if it’s a hate crime, that’s all I’m sayin’.

::

UPDATE #3:

Pictures of the accused, so you don’t have to create a login for the Sacramento Bee…

Andrey Vusik (thrower of the lethal punch):

ahole 1.jpg

Aleksandr Shevchenko:

ahole 2.jpg

121 thoughts on “Key Suspect in Satender Singh Murder Fled U.S. [3 UPDATES]

  1. HE approached THEM and told them to keep it down. So right there he made his first mistake.

    another good point. self-defense cannot be claimed if the defendant was the initial provacateur, unless he/she took some sort of action to back away, there was a sufficient period of cooldown etc. however, it’s not clear that either one of them did anything nearing sufficient legal provocation.

  2. While the outrage on this thread is about the successful getaway – if I may follow up briefly on the perspective noblekinsman offered – at any future trial, or even in the coming media spin – the issue can very well turn into one of public drunkenness and lewd conduct rather than one of racial or sexual-orientation based violence. It might even be possible to argue (or be the reality) that it was the intoxication/inebriation that contributed to (i)a greater degree of displayed aggression from Satender’s group and (ii) a disinhibition both in sexualized affection displays and in the fight-or-flight response – that is, were they less drunk, Satender’s group might very well have been more conciliatory, less aggressive, or less ‘lewd’ in their responses. (iii) the uncoordinated movements resulting from inebriation might have led to his hitting his head on the picnic table – not the strength of the blow itself – or the brass knuckles.

    These types of issues will complicate any linear reading of the event, now and in the future – in addition to the already complex intersection of race, religion, sexual-preference, class and immigrant status that already exists in the case.

  3. if the country’s becoming more conservative, wouldn’t the rights of crime victims increase, while the rights of the accussed decrease?

    Manju, good debating point, but in a socially conservative whites-first society, this is not a blanket statement.

    Anyways, in this specific case, I am surprised that eyebrows have not been raised at the fact that the deputy sheriff seems to be a respected member of the community of the accused, and still (hence?) no breakthroughs were made in the case for the longest time.

  4. I’ll be damned. A Russian family offended by

    drinking alcohol, swearing loudly

    What has the world come to? Nobody is true to their stereotypes anymore.

  5. iii) the uncoordinated movements resulting from inebriation might have led to his hitting his head on the picnic table – not the strength of the blow itself – or the brass knuckles

    this is very plausible. yes, surely, any inebriation on singh’s part will play a role. but ould not then it have been more reasonable for vusik to walk away, since i assume, at a family picnic, he was not drunk. if vusik was drunk, it would certainly diminish any requiite intent, and manslaiughter would be the better charge.

    if the country’s becoming more conservative, wouldn’t the rights of crime victims increase, while the rights of the accussed decrease?

    not necessarily – it could just mean the rights of the accused are restricted, without a corresponding increase in victim’s rights, which are actually a rather modern and ‘liberal’ concept.

  6. …and then fled the country

    Why am I not surprised to hear this now?

    And I will bet my last dollar that neither the Russian community nor the Sheriff’s office were surprised when they finally caught up with the news of his fleeing.

  7. Way to go!

    Given how quickly things devolved from happy revelry to death, I would say it was more “Gay to Woe!”

  8. the uncoordinated movements resulting from inebriation might have led to his hitting his head on the picnic table – not the strength of the blow itself – or the brass knuckles.

    It is entirely possible that Vusik’s blow knocked Singh out momentarily and, in that moment, he could not stop himself from falling back onto the hard surface which caused the mortal injury. It’s happened before, but with less severe results.

    Hate crimes are weird because they are effectively thought crimes. I’m not convinced this wasn’t just a big jerk who threw a drunk punch and Singh was not a small guy either.

    Noblekinsman,

    I also dislike higher penalties from crimes designated as “hate crime.” I think that the hate element is useful in establishing some sort of motive for the attack, but establishing punitive consequences for different kinds of manslaughter seems to be a bit obtuse (IMHO).

    As to Singh’s size, i don’t see it established anywhere that he was of equivalent or greater size that Vusik. I also don’t think it’s relevant, as a well-placed punch, with sufficient force, can knock anyone out regardless of size (unless of course, the person you’re hitting is related to Carlos Baldomir, or any other person who can take incredible punishment to the craniofacial region and be totally unaffected.)

  9. I went to the link Mark posted. http://www.fox40.com. There is a video dated 8/7 titled Attacker Arrested in the list of videos. OK, finally, one Indian friend speaks out on camera, but her identity is covered up because she is afraid of retaliation. Even worse, I still do not see a single Indian guy go on camera in defense of their friend. Isn’t that a bitch? What a bunch of cowards these friends are. But let’s get past my annoyance with them. What are the cops doing not giving these witnesses a sense of security??? THe fact that the grandma and one of the female friends are scared shows that these cops are a failure.

    OK now for the facts. The female friend of Satendar says that she and her friends gave not only a license plate number but also a video in which the ACCUSED WAS VISIBLE. Now go back and remember the police statements from the initial report. DOes it even give us an idea they had some sense of the identity?? THey were acting like they had nothing much to go on. Another thing when you listen to the police conference in the video clip: THere is some mention that even after they found out the identity, they did not move quickly. There was some reference to being surprised that he left the country on Aug 5 despite knowing he was the accused in the last week of July.

    Do you think SepiaMutiny can conduct an interview with the police department? I will volunteer my name and talk to the cops if anyone is scared of revealing their identity. We are not getting the full picture somewhere. Something just does not feel right.

  10. I meant if the videos taken before the incident showed the accused at any point

    See the Fox40 news report, that Mark linked above. I can’t get a direct link to the video. At 1.36 the victim’s friend mentions that they gave the Sheriff dept, video showing the attackers faces and a car license plate number. The attack took place on July1st, while the warrants were issued on July 27th. What the heck took police so long ? The sheriff’s explanation just doesn’t cut ice.

  11. I rewatched the video. Warrants were issued July 27th but were served Aug 5 when the police found out he was missing. Why the second delay????

  12. 61.

    We seem to have posted at same time.

    Cops say there was a delay, because they were trying to negotiate with accused’s family for their return, while the other lady says they learnt he left the country only on aug5th. Their explanations don’t add up.

  13. A lot of about how this case has been handled doesn’t seem to add up. It seems like the Sacramento PD is trying to emulate India’s finest.

  14. Do you think SepiaMutiny can conduct an interview with the police department? I will volunteer my name and talk to the cops if anyone is scared of revealing their identity. We are not getting the full picture somewhere. Something just does not feel right.

    I doubt they will talk to anyone, using the usual “no comment on an going investigation” line. If they wanted to be real nasty, they might try the “interfering with an investigation” threat.

  15. Questions about the sheriff’s handling of the case -

    Why the delay in issuing the arrest warrants when witnesses supplied video and a license plate number and investigators found a fingerprint?

    Why the delay in the releasing of information about the case?

    At the press conference yesterday the sheriff said it was because they didn’t want to jeopardize the on going investigation and they were trying to bring the suspect back to Sacramento but hit a brick wall.

    The sheriff’s representatives said “we can’t answer that now” to about half the questions the reporters posed. “We need to talk to the suspect first” or “more witnesses” or “we don’t want to jeopardize the investigation.”

    The whole story is not public yet.

    Today was the first court date for the accomplice Aleksandr Shevchenko, he was to be arraigned today but did not have an attorney. The court assigned him a public defender and postponed the arraignment until Aug 22, 2007. Since he was still in jail, that means he wasn’t bailed out for $25,000 bail. Here you can post bail of 10% in cash and collateral. Also he hadn’t secured an attorney. The judge did not let the TV crews and newspaper photographers show his face. He didn’t know that TV and newspapers and the sheriff’s web site all posted the mug shots! I still rule you can’t show his face, he said.

    After the arraignment TV news crews cornered Aleksandr Shevchenko’s sister Inna Shevchenko and she said things like:

    “There wasn’t supposed to be a fight. There wasn’t a fight. There was one hit, the only problem there was, he hit his head.”

    “It’s an accident. But to say to call it a hate crime, it was not a hate crime. Nobody intended to kill nobody. But it turned into a huge thing.”

    “They turned this whole thing into politics. They turn it into gay sociality (sic) and Russians fighting against gays,” “It wasn’t intended, wasn’t like a hate crime.” “My brother was there. I can say wrong place, wrong time,” “When you say Slavic, you can hear us more and you can see us more. If it was American(s) speaking, it would not come out that way.”

    I am not making light of her english. But I am questioning her facts and logic. She was not present at the punch.

    You can see her on video at http://www.news10.net/display_story.aspx?storyid=31328&GID=STRN9vngvjQlLgD+zQR9qqEkerNHTmftxLhbkVX1t2w%3D (if the link does not work, just go to news10.net, it is on the front page)

    Involuntary manslaughter? In the video Nathan Feldman says: “If you think about it, they sent the women and children home. The men stayed behind. Why? It wasn’t to have a picnic. You know, so it wasn’t just the heat of the moment.” (the text in the article has a misquote.)

    The facts about who was drinking have not been disclosed. In today’s Sacramento Bee, the sister of Andrey Vusick, Tatyana, says the Singh group were drinking alcohol. No other reports mention drinking. Indeed alcohol can make people brave and stupid.

    By the way it is the Sacramento Sheriff, not the Sacramento Police Department investigating. The attack occurred at a State Park in Sacramento County. After 2 days, the State Parks Department turned the investigation over to the county sheriff.

    I think it would be great for Pravin and SepiaMutiny to investigate! Just don’t expect a lot of support from the local sheriff right now.

    Be careful out there,

    Mark

  16. If only we can figure out when exactly Vusik left the country, we can poke holes in sheriff’s story. Is there someway to get(subpoena ?) those records from airlines/INS.

  17. After reviewing the posts, two things-

    I’m not sure I used the word “arraigned” correctly. He did appear in court today and was charged with the hate crime. But did not enter a plea. I am not a lawyer.

    Second, the phrase “a group of drunk gay guys was dancing and kissing” got my attention. For sure a bunch of drunk gay guys can be obnoxious. A bunch of drunk whatever people can be obnoxious. The published reports so far describe the Singh group as 3 couples, I assume heterosexual, and Satendar Singh, 7 people total. And we don’t have the facts on alcohol consumption.

  18. This is bloody ridiculous. Pravin is absolutely right. Over the last few years I have come to the conclusion that the behaviour of desi community is very wimpish. We may be a model minority / wealthy / successful but until we can demonstrate our strength with blood no one will take us seriously. If we are not willing to shed blood we will get walked all over. This may sound heretical but it is the only way to earn true respect.

    This happened in California in the Bay area – a geographic location which has a substantial number of desis (1/2/n gen). This is an area where ‘we’ have presumably have clout. But do we really ? All our money can’t force the cops to track down a killer from another migrant community. For heavens sake there are less Russians in the Bay Area than desis. ( i may be wrong).

    Dont we have the ability to shut down silicon valley for one day? If every desi refused to show up for work and got onto the street and marched in the streets where the Russian community congregated we would see some real results – not this talk show stuff. Imagine the furore that will create.

    I am so pissed. Come on guys we need to fight this disinterest. Will post later when I calm down.

  19. Mark, thanks, as always :)

    We may be a model minority / wealthy / successful but until we can demonstrate our strength with blood no one will take us seriously. This happened in California in the Bay area – a geographic location which has a substantial number of desis (1/2/n gen).

    This is debateable (that we are a model minority) — I think in the Bay, especially, you would see a greater diversity of socioeconomics, integration, etc., among desis depending on the income level and region. Also, Sacramento is not part of the Bay Area; it’s part of the Central Valley. There is also a sizeable desi population in the CV, but the race dynamics are different. And while there is clearly an element of hate-mongering among the (ethnic) religious community, I think it’s important that we don’t distill this into desis v. Russians.

    The hardest part of this case is that so little is known. On its face it just seems ridiculous.

  20. Second, the phrase “a group of drunk gay guys was dancing and kissing” got my attention. For sure a bunch of drunk gay guys can be obnoxious. A bunch of drunk whatever people can be obnoxious. The published reports so far describe the Singh group as 3 couples, I assume heterosexual, and Satendar Singh, 7 people total. And we don’t have the facts on alcohol consumption.

    Yeah, that was just based on what Vusic said, which probably should not be given much weight. We just don’t know what really happened.

  21. This is slightly off topic. But my cousins were robbed in Houston. They own a store. And it is important that storeowners be aware of anyone following them home. And it is important storeowners deposit their cash in the bank on a daily basis.

    Anyway, back to the story. My cousin and his wife returned from the store after closing(10pm). AS soon as they entered the house, each of them had a gun pointed at them in a well planned robbery. Fortunately, the thieves were not insane. They took all the valuables(including the typical Indian jewelry that makes Indian store owners a target) and left them tied up but unharmed.

    The cops were called. The cops looked very disinterested. Later, my cousins find out a few other Indian store owners in the area were similar victims. The cops never bothered to check for a trend. There seemed to be no interest at all in following up on the robbery. Their attitude when they arrived on the scene was one of extreme indifference. And my cousins seemed bothered by that attitude. They changed houses because they were afraid of future robberies.

    I might call the sheriff’s office Monday and see what I can get. Since India_West seems to have reported on this. I might try calling them also.

    Mark, since you have been following this closely, did any of the friends come to the vigil? I might want to interview them if I can find out their identity. They do not seem averse to talking as long as they are not identified.

  22. I actually agree with the manslaughter charge. But I am surprised that 8 years is the maximum. Aren’t there different degrees of manslaughter? And even if we agree with the sentencing guidelines, can’t they tack on more years by charging him with running away from the country(do not know the legal terms for that other than that he is a fugitive from justice). A visit from the INS to look for every loophole in their immigration papers would be nice.

  23. But I am surprised that 8 years is the maximum. Aren’t there different degrees of manslaughter?

    there are. usually you have to group your charges together (i.e. there is limited leeway in how much you can add on another charge if, from the facts known then, they could have included that charge initially). the degrees depend on intent, so perhaps from the facts known now, the intent they inferred would only allow a lesser degree; this might be amended once more facts/vusik’s account are known. this does seem to be a lesser degree of manslaughter, since first degree can yield a minimum of 15 years in many states.

  24. MIGHT there be a international aspect to this case that we haven’t observed yet? Depending on how the Russian authorities deal with extradition this may become a political issue. Potentially one that Sac’s finest have no interest in provoking.

  25. I am guessing the guy will get 4 years if he shows up in the U.S. Can he get a lawyer to do a deal where he gets 2-4 years and he will return? I am thinking that is their angle right now. They know the local law enforcement is not highly motivated to nab them. So they will milk all the leverage they can get. In a curious case of lack of thoroughness, the FBI agent this case was handed to didn’t even know if he was a U.S. citizen or not.

    In an updated article(which one can find a link to on MArk’s website), the following is mentioned

    The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department is handling the case,.. “We’ve turned everything over to the FBI as far as Vusik’s location and contact information,” said Sgt. Connie Merkins of the sheriff’s homicide bureau. “That’s in their hands.” Special Agent Steven D. Dupre of the FBI’s Sacramento Division said the bureau serves as a liaison between local law enforcement and foreign governments. “Our role is just to find the fugitive and bring him back,” Dupre said. Dupre said he did not know Vusik’s immigration status. Family members in Sacramento said he had been in the United States for 14 years, and has been married to Tatyana Vusik for four years. They have three children.

    What kind of Homeland Security is this when the accused family is the one giving us all the information and something as simple as an immigration status is unknown at this time?

  26. At the risk of being repetitive: Is there anything we can do about this?

    Mark and others, Do you know if there an email address that we can write to for the Sacramento County Sherrif’s department? Or should we write letters to the local papers? Should’nt this case be up on Nancy Grace or Greta Van Susteren? Will more publicity put greater pressure on the Sherriff’s office to move things along?

  27. he totally looks like someone who could pass as a white person

    You totally sound like someone who has been smoking something. Get real.

    We may be a model minority / wealthy / successful but until we can demonstrate our strength with blood no one will take us seriously…….Dont we have the ability to shut down silicon valley for one day? If every desi refused to show up for work and got onto the street and marched in the streets where the Russian community congregated we would see some real results – not this talk show stuff. Imagine the furore that will create.

    You too need to get in touch with reality. Desis are not considered a model minority. That term was coined for asian-americans. In America asians = japanese, chinese, koreans etc, not indians, pakistanis, bangladeshis as in the UK. And dont exaggerate desi success in silicon valley. Google was founded by a russian who is now a multi-billionaire, while there are no desi billionaires in Silicon Valley.

    This incident is getting traction in the media because of the gay angle not the desi angle. Russian immigrants have a reputation as notorious homophobes in the california gay community and its the gays not the desis who are making a big issue out of this. The desis are too scared to even show their face, including the victims friends.

  28. Sathya,

    Are you “Prema” by any chance? I recognize similarity in the style . If not, I think you have a soulmate who used to vist these boards

  29. Re the possibility of getting Vusic back from Russia, although the Russian constitution prohibits extradition of its citizens, Russia has done it in the past, sometimes by revoking their citizenship post factum.

    But of course the police department/FBI first needs to find out whether he is in fact a Russian citizen. Their incompetence would be funny if it wasn’t so scary.

  30. Since we are not a model minority why are we so quiet? This is not about Russians / Eastern Europeans. This is about desis. Our inability to fight to protect ourselves / protect our loved ones/ protect our property. This is so fundamental to human existence – the ability to defend.

    We need to fight back anywhich way we can – even the gandhian method would work. A fast unto death in front of City Hall.

    A billionaire does not make a community. We can easily shut down Silicon Valley for a day but do we have the balls. Considering the number of comments on SM – desis dont really care about another dead desi. Or is the desi community ashamed of its gay brethren ?

    Camille : Thank you for the clarification regarding the geography but it is all the same.

  31. We need to fight back anywhich way we can – even the gandhian method would work. A fast unto death in front of City Hall.

    you can’t be serious, man. Unless you’ve been chuffin’ on Victoria’s finest.

    Our inability to fight to protect ourselves / protect our loved ones/ protect our property. This is so fundamental to human existence – the ability to defend

    this i agree with in the abstract. I’m not a 2nd-amendment libber, nor a survivalist wacko, but there is something to be said for being able to protect a friend in that kind of situation. If some of the theories on this post are true, and that Vusik’s female relatives were sent packing in anticipation of such an assault, then Singh’s buddies had ample time to circle up and make a show of force.

    Then again, if everyone was drinking, it’s hard to keep track of goings-on and I, personally, have turned around in social situations to see one of my friends taking an impersonal fist to the face. There was no time to react.

  32. Aussie! Aussie ! Aussie!

    Melbourne Desi, this one’s for you. I lived in Australia for almost two years while I did a Master’s degree there. Once on the nightly news I heard of a VICIOUS attack on a Chinese person. I actually saw the footage of him lying in a hospital bed in a coma–with the side of his head CRUSHED in. For those who don’t know, there is a very strong xenophonic sentiment in good ol’ Oz where minorities and immigrants are seen almost as sub-human.

    This attack happened in front of Central Station in the HEART of Sydney, an area that gets thousands of people walking through it every HOUR. Not one surveillance camera caught what happened and NOT A SINGLE witness stepped forward.

    What’s that? You say that wouldn’t happen in multi-cultural Melbourne? Here’s the thing, mate. I read in one of the South Asian community papers while I was there of the following incident. After a South Asian taxi driver was brutally murdered, his comrades held a candle-light vigil to mourn him and demand safer working conditions. White Aussies passing by booed, heckled, and jeered these individuals holding a vigil.

    If you’re bothered by brown girls with pasty white guys over here in Amreeka, then wait till you go down under, you’ll be in for a real eye-opener.

    In Oz, I was hassled in nightclubs, pushed around by bouncers, ignored by bartenders, refused entry on the flimsiest of excuses, etc. etc.

    If you are a brown male and want to be treated as invisible, Australia is the place for you.

    Good on ya, mate. How’s Leyton gonna do at the US Open?

  33. Random acts of violence do happen and these can be reduced never eliminated. I am not so much concerned about the ability to protect at the moment when the attack comes up – sometimes attacks come from the most unexpected places. The fury is with the post-attack scenario. When the law enforcers refuse to act, then it behoves us to (a)force it to act or (b)act on our own. Either (a) or (b) is fine. Currently, nothing is happening. Just empty talk.

    Do you reckon that Satyender would have been killed if he had been black and gay ? Or was he killed because the Russians believed that Satya being desi and gay was a nobody ? Did Satya have a partner? All bets would be off if such a thing happend to my loved ones.

    A fast unto death often does have the benefit of focusing media attention. It is rather fascinating (chilling?) to watch a person willing to die for a principle. This goes back to my earlier comment about being willing to shed blood when fighting for respect. Am I a lone voice in the wilderness ?

  34. Krish You are right – institutionalized racism is far higher down under. Desis are not treated with respect. Taxi drivers face extreme violence with almost zero protection from the state / society. This comes back to our inability to stand up and defend ourselves. This is not just a desi problem – any community that is not willing to fight for its respect will be treated poorly.

    Eg. Aboriginals in Australia are treated like dirt and they are extremely peaceloving and non-violent persons. In nearby by NZ, Maoris are treated with much greater respect and have lot less health issues. The plight of aboriginals in australia is as bad as sub-saharan africa. A major reason is that they are willing to physically fight for their rights. Remember it is the same stock of people who have populated Oz and NZ.

  35. Desis are not treated with respect. Taxi drivers face extreme violence with almost zero protection from the state / society. This comes back to our inability to stand up and defend ourselves. This is not just a desi problem – any community that is not willing to fight for its respect will be treated poorly.

    I’m not trying to rain on your parade, but I don’t think this is the reason why minority communities are the targets of hate violence. A counterexample (in my opinion), would be the Black Panthers. Communities were standing up for themselves, but people all over are still getting gunned down, beaten up, and generally treated with extreme and abnormal violence. It’s not because no one stood up for themselves. I understand what you’re saying re: being vocal and visible, but let’s not blame the (relatively) powerless.

  36. I agree with most of Melbourne Desi’s sentiments. Personally, I wish the Desis were able to defend themselves. But everyone cannot be who we want them to be. But I am pissed at the post incident reaction. It’s the Russians who should be cowering in fear of being discovered. Instead we got the Indians who are hiding and giving interviews off the record. While I blame the cops for not reassuring the Indians of their safety, I also have to question the Indians gutlessness. I know they got families. But this is America. The Russian thugs already fucked up once. While the Russian group at the area include hate filled beings, they are not suicidal. THey are not going to risk getting charges added up by going after the witnesses. And even worse is these friends are whining about the cops distorting the facts now while these “friends” did nothing for 3 weeks including something as easy as correcting the facts with their identities being hidden. (Again, I apologize i am offbase here, but your deafening silence leads me to these conclusions). Like I said, in the video clips of the vigils, it seems like all races were represented except Indians. You wonder if any of his friends have even bothered to look at Mark’s page which would have surely directed them to these entries. But they still remain silent instead of posting anonymously. While I call bullshit on what the Russians are saying about this incident, it will be nice to know for sure they are bullshitting. That can only be accomplished if we have these Indian friends willing to come forward and give the public their account in enough detail. I want to go full force on this issue but in the absence of a 100% detailed account from Satender’s side, I do not know how much to believe or disbelieve. While it is indisputable that whatever Satender did doesn’t merit what he got, I would like to know how much outrage this case deserves as I could be spending my spare time on some other case that will inevitably come up.

    India West did an initial article according to the links provided. BUt it looks they did not even bother to followup. Hell, the link to their original report does not even work anymore. The phone numbers of the SHeriff’s department are provided in the page Mark set up or in one of the sheriff dept links on that page. I am going to call them on Monday. If someone can provide us with a list of indian organizations in the local area, it will be nice.

    If anyone from the victims friends is reading this, please send me an email to clear the air. I can get the interview published in local Telugu papers in India since my uncle has contacts. If my words sound harsh, and I am offbase, it is because we can only judge you based on the info we have.

  37. I was not trying to blame the powerless – far from it. My comment was to provoke desis to realize that we need to learn to defend when we are threatened. We need to be not just vocal but also willing to use our economic and physical power when need be. Hiding when threatened only emboldens the next attacker to go after a perceived weak community. 10,000 desis can easily take a days pay cut and refuse to work as they are mourning. Is that too much?

    The lebs in Oz get to face the brunt of insitutional discrimination but they are not threatened at an individual level by other goons. The goons know that every punch thrown will result in a counter punch. Fighting institutional racism is a different ball game from fighting individual actions. In this case we are faced with both and nary a response from us.

    I concur on the example of Black Panthers. Shame that they fell apart.

  38. I was not trying to blame the powerless – far from it. My comment was to provoke desis to realize that we need to learn to defend when we are threatened. We need to be not just vocal but also willing to use our economic and physical power when need be. Hiding when threatened only emboldens the next attacker to go after a perceived weak community. 10,000 desis can easily take a days pay cut and refuse to work as they are mourning. Is that too much?

    Thanks for the clarification; I clearly misread. Sorry about that :)

  39. What? You must be out of your mind… punch white people? And risk the hard-earned model minority status?

    You want 10,000 people in Silicon Valley to go to strike for Satendar? I hate to disappoint you bro, but I don’t even think 10,000 people have even heard of his fate.

    Alas, advocacy for poor Satendar has slipped between that crack that demarcates Pacific Islander and South Asian. The South Asian newspapers in the bay/N. Cal passed the buck when they printed headlines that said, “Fijian man killed in hate crime”.

    At first, I was somehwat annoyed that the only people who picked up advocacy of this issue were gay activists–I thought Satendar’s ‘brownness’ was being overlooked. But, I have to applaud people like Mark. They work tirelessly to bring attention to these issues which we brush aside so easily. So yea, Mark if you’re reading… THANK YOU.

    And let’s face it… the vast majority of brownies (even the progressive one’s on here) have this feeling in the back of their mind that because of his sexual orientation, ‘he had it coming’.

    As for the wife. I love her logic. Homosexuality is something that shouldn’t be displayed in front of children, but violence is? Hmmph… go figure.

  40. Krish : yup 10 desis (forget 10K) going on a strike for Satya would be a revolution.

  41. but I don’t even think 10,000 people have even heard of his fate.

    And why is that? Without minimizing anyone’s pain why does a Natalee Holloway or a Laci Peterson case get so much publicity while Satendar Singh does not? Is it because of his sexual orientation or the color of his skin?Again, I ask : what can we do to get the word out ?

  42. And let’s face it… the vast majority of brownies (even the progressive one’s on here) have this feeling in the back of their mind that because of his sexual orientation, ‘he had it coming’.

    Like you, I am anguished over this tragedy, but I had no idea that despair could switch on psychic abilities. You can tell that a “vast majority” of desis, even the ones on this site, subconsciously thought that Satender deserved his attack, because we are latently homophobic?

    If you’ve got a moment, perhaps some powerball numbers? That way I can go in to the bunker on Sunday and scream, “I QUIT!”

  43. And let’s face it… the vast majority of brownies (even the progressive one’s on here) have this feeling in the back of their mind that because of his sexual orientation, ‘he had it coming’.

    I have not been shy about criticizing other Indians(wherever country they belong to). But this statement is way too broad. Pretty much, all the reaction on this blog has not been indicative of the sentiments you accuse the readers of hahving.

    And more than 10000 know about this case. It has been on several local stations over there multiple times. Unless you are talking about just the Indian community.

    If someone can help with some contacts and point me in the right direction, I can follow through in getting an exact account of what the hell is going on there. I do wish I lived in that area. I could have done a road trip.

    Also I need some legal advice. Is there anyone in the Sheriff’s department obligated to give me information on the case? What can I do as an outsider to get more information?

  44. Hahaha… you’re kidding right? Pravin, you, the person who’s anguished by the ‘wimpiness’ of the South Asian community is gonna lecture me about generalizing? That’s the pot calling the kettle black.

    95, I don’t profess to have psychic ability. If I did, I’d be selling charms and amulets and promising everyone on this site to find them their dream mate ;)

    Maybe you don’t like the matter-of-factness with which I lay out things… it stems mainly from my penchant to ‘cut to the chase’.

    See, it’s just that… whenever the whole ‘model minority’ thing is brought up, I feel like barfing. I’ve never seen people so proud of house negro status. BLLLEEHHHHHHHH <————sound of me puking.

    I stand by what I’ve said, and the onus is on you to prove otherwise. I wasn’t referring to the people who commented on this issue as much as the people who are ‘lurking’ and not saying anything.

    Mental illness, homosexuality, domestic violence, are examples of issues which we’d rather ignore because of ‘shame’. There’s something to South Asian psychology that tells us to keep these problems at a distance, becaues even talking about them is inviting these ‘misfortunes’ to pop up in your family.

  45. I stand by what I’ve said, and the onus is on you to prove otherwise.

    Krish****:

    Jesus is the one true saviour. The onus is on you to prove otherwise.

  46. Manju, I don’t think your post is a coincidence… Jesus’s face appeared to me on my roti this morning :)