RICHMOND (Covering Fort Bend News) - Fort Bend county flags will be flown at half-staff in honor of Harris County Sheriff's Deputy Sandeep Dhaliwal who was murdered on Friday during a routine traffic stop in the Jersey Village area.

The suspect had an outstanding arrest warrant and it is believe that he killed Dhaliwal so that the Harris County deputy would not discover the warrant and arrest him, beginning the process of sending suspect Robert Solis back to prison. 

"As a mark of solemn respect for the downed law enforcement officer, by the authority vested in me, I hereby order the flags of Fort Bend County be flown at half-staff until sunset on Wednesday, October 2nd, 2019," wrote Fort Bend County Judge KP George.

George noted that Dhaliwal was a trailblazer who worked to help increase religious understanding. 

"He was a groundbreaking officer in our region, state, and country because he worked hard to break barriers and received permission to wear the garb of his Sikh faith on patrol paving the way for so many and inspiring countless in the process," George wrote. "Deputy Dhaliwal was a shining example of the values we hold dear in our diverse region by exuding compassion and understanding in every aspect of his career from connecting with the youth to serving by example during the disaster of Hurricane Harvey."  

Nearly five years ago, Dhaliwal became the first Harris County Sheriff's Deputy to be allowed to wear a turban and beard while in his police uniform, representing his Sikh religion.

The announcement came in a press release that also included statements from District Attorney Brian Middleton and Sheriff Troy Nehls. Like George, both men also hold countywide elected positions. Middleton and George are Democrats and Nehls is a Republican. 

“Fort Bend County mourns with the family and friends of Deputy Sandeep Dhaliwal, our neighbors at the Harris County Sheriff’s office, and all those throughout our community that were touched by the kindness of Deputy Dhaliwal over a storied and trailblazing career in law enforcement," Fort Bend County Judge KP George wrote. 

“Deputy Dhaliwal led the way for others to serve their community without sacrificing the beliefs of their religion or culture. His death is truly a loss for our community,” wrote Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls.

“Due to Deputy Dhaliwal’s murderer being apprehended and charged with capital murder, justice will be swift and proportionate to the crime," wrote Fort Bend County District Attorney Brian Middleton. "Deputy Dhaliwal paid the ultimate sacrifice for his service to the community. I and other law enforcement officials stand with Deputy Dhaliwal’s family and will insure Deputy Dhaliwal’s courage and service will never be forgotten.”

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