Santa Clara County officials announced a series of community meetings on hate crimes Thursday following a recent spike in racially or religiously motivated attacks.
On average, about five hate crimes are reported each month in the county, which normally has one of the lowest rates nationwide of such attacks, but in June, there were 13, according to the local Network for a Hate-Free Community.
"This is not what Santa Clara County is about," said County Supervisor James Beall.
Over the weekend, a Sikh was attacked in front of his Santa Clara home by a 20-year-old man who told authorities he wanted to attack a member of the Taliban, a fundamentalist Islamic movement in Afghanistan.
Everett Thompson was being held without bail after being charged Wednesday with premeditated attempted murder with a dangerous weapon and a hate crime enhancement for allegedly stabbing Iqbal Singh... in the neck Saturday.
In San Jose, meanwhile, a judge denied bail to Everett Thompson, 20, of Santa Clara, who could spend the rest of his life in prison if he is convicted of the pre-meditated attempted murder charge and hate crime enhancements he faces, Deputy District Attorney Peter Waite said today. Thompson is also charged with using a knife to cause bodily injury.
Thompson has remained in jail without bail since he was arrested Sunday morning, shortly after allegedly stabbing Iqbal Singh, 60, in the neck as he was standing in his carport in Santa Clara. According to police and prosecutors, Thompson targeted Singh because he wanted to harm a member of the Taliban and erroneously assumed Singh belonged to the Taliban because of his long beard and turban.
Thompson is expected back in Santa Clara County Superior Court in San Jose at 2 p.m. on Aug. 10.
None of the defendants has entered a plea.
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