1 year after tragic death, slain Harris County deputy's story makes it to Washington

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Tuesday, September 15, 2020
How fallen deputy's story is changing city 1 year after death
The death of Deputy Sandeep Dhaliwal sparked massive change within his department. Now, his story is close to making a big move.

WASHINGTON (KTRK) -- A post office may soon be renamed in honor of a Harris County Sheriff's Office deputy who was shot and killed during a traffic stop last year.

According to an announcement made by Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher, the Deputy Sandeep Singh Dhaliwal Post Office Act unanimously passed the full House of Representatives with unanimous support on Monday.

READ MORE: 'Pioneering' deputy dies after being shot from behind: sheriff

The bill will rename the post office located at 315 Addicks Howell Road in west Harris County to the "Deputy Sandeep Singh Dhaliwal Post Office."

"Deputy Dhaliwal represented the very best of our community: he worked for equality, connection, and community through his life of service to others," said Fletcher. "The Deputy Sandeep Singh Dhaliwal Post Office will serve as a permanent reminder of his service, his sacrifice, and his example for us all. I am glad that my legislation to honor his memory is one step closer to final passage."

Deputy shooting timeline: What we know about what happened

The sheriff's office says the suspect ran up from behind Deputy Sandeep Dhaliwal and shot him in the back of the head.

"It's historic and it's a meaningful gesture to the Sikh community," said senior manager for policy and advocacy for the Sikh Coalition, Sim Singh.

Singh said Dhaliwal was a hero to the community and many religious minorities who aspired to have a career in public service. He said they are still continuing to fight for religious equality, a road Dhaliwal helped build.

WATCH: Sikh Coalition on slain deputy: 'He was considered a true humanitarian'

"He was a symbol of how diversity makes our nation strong," said Sim Singh with the Sikh Coalition.

The death of the beloved deputy sparked massive change within the sheriff's department. He was the very first Harris County deputy to be allowed to wear his turban while on-duty.

"Sikh Americans have been integral to the American fabric for generations," explained Singh. "We're your truck drivers, your doctors, your soldiers, police officers and more."

The bill will now head to the U.S. Senate for a vote, and Singh believes it will likely pass. He said Dhaliwal's father is extremely proud.

"He is overwhelmed by this naming the post office, so it's an honor for him to see his son's memory memorialized in such a great national platform," he said.