Robert Solis, who killed Texas sheriff’s deputy Sandeep Dhaliwal, has been sentenced to death.




CNN

The man who shot and killed the beloved Houston area’s first sheriff’s deputy has been sentenced to death, according to court records.

“We are very grateful that justice has been served,” Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez tweeted. “Sandeep changed our Sheriff’s Office family for the better, and we continue to strive to live up to his example of servant leadership. May he rest in Peace.”

It took jurors less than an hour last week to convict Robert Solis of capital murder in the 2019 death of Sandeep Dhaliwal.

Dhaliwal was Harris County’s first observing Sikh sheriff’s deputy. He gained national attention for helping change department policy to allow articles of faith, such as the turban, to be worn while on the force.

In September 2019, Dhaliwal pulled over Solis, who was wanted for a parole violation, during a traffic stop.

As Dhaliwal was returning to his patrol car, Solis shot the deputy in the head.

Dhaliwal paved the way for other law enforcers of the Sikh religion, who preach equality and service to others.

“He wanted to show that a Sikh person with a turban is a symbol of service, someone who is there to help you whenever you need it,” childhood friend BJ Josan said after the MP’s death.

There are more than 25 million Sikhs worldwide and about 500,000 in the United States, according to the Sikh Coalition.

At work or outside, Dhaliwal was always finding ways to help strangers.

“He laughed and joked with us all and made a brilliant impression on my deaf son,” one neighbor posted. Harris County Sheriff’s Office.

After Hurricane Harvey devastated Houston in 2017, Dhaliwal organized people from California to help, CNN affiliate KTRK reported. Deputies had so many people and supplies lined up that they needed an 18-wheeler to transport them to Houston, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said.

When Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, Dhaliwal went to the island to help in any way he could, KTRK reported.

Even after his death, Dhaliwal made an impact in the law enforcement community.

In 2019, the nearby Houston Police Department announced a change in its uniform policy to require officers to wear their articles of faith while serving.

Houston police were working on a religious accommodation policy, Chief Art Acevedo said at the time.

But after Dhaliwal’s death, Acevedo couldn’t imagine waiting another day without formalizing the department’s policy, he said.

Other police departments have made similar policy changes in recent years, including those in New York, Chicago, Washington, DC and Riverside, California.