Author Archive | Deepa Iyer

Using Unreasonable Force for Speaking No English

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What was really on trial in the Sureshbhai Patel case? In early September, a jury in Huntsville, Alabama, began to hear testimony in the case of Eric Parker, a white police officer who faced federal charges for violating the civil rights of Sureshbhai Patel, a 57-year-old Indian immigrant and grandfather. On September 11th, the jury […]

Spelling Race

Sai Vishudhi Chandrasekhar of New York, New York, during the 88th Scripps National Spelling Bee semifinals on May 28, 2015 in Washington, DC. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty The following is an excerpt from Deep Iyer’s article that appeared today on Colorlines, the full article can be read here. It’s the week of the 88th Scripps National […]

What Does The Indictment in the Madison, Alabama Excessive Force Case Mean?

s patel

On March 27th, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that a federal grand jury had indicted a Madison Alabama police officer for using unreasonable force against Sureshbhai Patel, a 57-year-old Indian grandfather. Police had followed upon a 9/11 call that a suspicious-looking “skinny black guy” was walking around a residential neighborhood. Mr. Patel happened to […]

13 Years After 9/11: A Reflection on Resilience

Chaumtoli Huq being restrained by NYPD police officers on a street in Times Square (picture courtesy of Chaumtoli Huq)

 I came of age in post 9/11 America like many other people around the United States. On September 11, 2001, I was working as a lawyer in the Civil Rights Division at the U.S. Department of Justice, and living close enough to the Pentagon that the smoke burning from the building was visible from my […]

Growing Up To Be Like Yuri Kochiyama

yuri kochiyama for deepa

She may be best known in the public eye for the iconic picture that shows her cradling Malcolm X’s head in her lap after he was killed in a Manhattan auditorium, but Yuri Kochiyama’s life and legacy stood for much more, especially to Asian Americans. Many of us learned of Yuri Kochiyama’s recent death, not […]