Update, May 2, 2016, 1:40 p.m ET:
Potter County District Attorney Randall Sims told Colorlines via phone this afternoon (May 2) that since the offenses in The Sikh Coalition’s complaint “are generally classified ‘misdemeanors’,” the DA’s office will not be involved unless county investigators determine that a felony has been committed.
Update, May 2, 2016, 11:35 a.m ET:
Potter County Attorney Scott Brumley told Colorlines via phone this morning (May 2) that his office is looking into the false report and unlawful restraint components of The Sikh Coalition’s complaint. Brumley also noted that since the incident took place on a bus ride across multiple states, possible witnesses are scattered across the country.
According to the complaint filed on Wednesday (April 27), Daljeet Singh was riding a Greyhound bus through Amarillo on February 21. Singh, a legal resident and asylum seeker from India with limited English language proficiency, sports a turban and long beard in accordance with Sikh faith. Singh said in his own statement, assisted by The Sikh Coalition, that a Punjabi-speaking man from Pakistan sat down and chatted with him. Later, a White passenger asked them a question that he didn’t understand, then told the bus driver that they were discussing a bomb plot. He also said that two Black passengers later approached them, shouting at and restraining them until police reached the bus. Both Singh and the other South Asian passenger, Mohammed Chotri, were held in a county detention center for nearly 30 hours before FBI and county officials cleared them of wrongdoing.
The complaint requests that criminal charges be brought against the passengers for filing a false report and unlawful restraint, saying that the White passenger’s “defamatory allegations, which were evidently baseless and rooted in bigotry, deprived Mr. Singh of his liberty, stripped him of his dignity, led to the violation of his religious rights, and caused him great humiliation and emotional harm.”
The Sikh Coalition filed the complaint with Potter County’s sheriff, district attorney and county attorney’s offices. Colorlines called all three offices for comment, but received no responses as of press time. Potter County Attorney Scott Brumley told the local NBC News affiliate that he is investigating the complaint lodged against the passenger who made the report.