The prosecutor described the murderer of the “history-making” officer as an “antisocial psychopath”
A jury in Houston, Texas has sentenced Robert Solis to death for murdering Harris Country Sheriff’s Office Deputy Sandeep Dhaliwal, the first officer in the state who was allowed to wear a Sikh turban on duty.
The jury’s decision came after Solis, 50, was found guilty earlier this month of murdering Dhaliwal during a routine traffic stop in 2019. Jurors only took 25 minutes to reach the guilty verdict.
“How do you punish a man who doesn’t fear the consequences,” Assistant District Attorney Lauren Bard, who asked the jury for capital punishment, said in closing arguments. She described Solis as a “lying, manipulative, narcissistic, antisocial psychopath.”
According to the Houston Chronicle, Solis defended himself in court by telling the jurors that he, a wanted parolee at the time, believed that Dhaliwal “falsely imprisoned” him and that he shot him during a botched attempt at a citizen’s arrest.
Dhaliwal was described as a “nationwide trailblazer” and “history-making” after he became the first deputy in his state who was allowed to wear a traditional beard and turban, the symbols of the Sikh faith, while on patrol in 2015.
In 2012, the DC Police Department became the first police force in the country to allow officers to don traditional Sikh religious attire on the job, including metal bracelets and decorative daggers. In doing so, they were required to choose turbans that match police uniforms and have beards neatly tied back.