In a spate of hate crimes against Indian Hindus in the US and online bashing of the community that has contributed a lot to their adopted country, a series of hate crimes in Santa Clara shook the community for the past couple of months.
The suspect Lathan Johnson from East Palo Alto has been spreading fear among the Hindu community as he specifically targeted elderly Indian women who wore traditional attire and gold jewelry. It is known that it is the festive season for Indians and the suspect is said to have a common modus operandi.
He would drag the women down the street, beat their husbands, and terrorize them which is worse than property thief. All victims were between the age of 50 and 73.
Samir Kalra of the Hindu American Foundation says there has been an uptick in hate crimes and online Hindu phobia. Indian Hindus are being encouraged to come forward and narrate their experiences if they had similar horror stories.
However, Lathan Johnson did not show up at the court as he claimed he did not take his medicines. Johnson remains in custody with no bail and if convicted of hate crimes will have a maximum penalty of 63 years behind bars.
Various counties have been advised to take stringent measures against hate crimes, even as Indo-American Hindus feel on the edge due to a series of sporadic events and the extensive spread of online Hinduphobia.