WATCH: US man who converted to Sikhism 9 years ago, handcuffed for carrying kirpan
A 33-year-old Sikh convert was handcuffed and arrested in the US for carrying a kirpan after a customer at a grocery store called police.
Harpreet Singh Khalsa, who was born as Justin Smith, has worn the ceremonial knife known as a kirpan every day since he converted to Sikhism nine years ago.
Khalsa, who owns a catering business, was quoted by The Baltimore Sun as saying that he has been stopped multiple times by police, and was arrested again last week outside a grocery store in Catonsville, Maryland, after a customer called police.
Khalsa said he explained to the officers that the knife is part of his religion, but they frisked him, took the kirpan, placed him in handcuffs and drove him to the local precinct.
Khalsa was later released without charges, after police “confirmed that the knife was a kirpan and part of his religion, and not a threat to the community,” Baltimore County Officer Jennifer Peach was quoted as saying.
“The officer did follow all Maryland and county laws properly in this incident. There is no known exception to the deadly weapons laws at this time,” Peach said.
She said the department is providing education and guidance to its officers about Sikhs and their …read more