REMEMBERING SANDEEP DHALIWA

Houstonians invited to pay tribute to Deputy Sandeep Dhaliwal at public services

Photo courtesy of ABC13

This article originally appeared on CultureMap.

Funeral services have been announced for Sandeep Dhaliwal, the Harris County Sheriff's deputy who was killed during a routine traffic stop Friday, September 27 in northwest Houston.

The public is invited to a law enforcement ceremony and a Sikh religious ceremony on Wednesday, October 2, at the Berry Center (8877 Barker Cypress Rd.) in Cypress, Texas. The Sikh religious ceremony starts at 10:30 am; the law enforcement services follow at 11 am. The public is invited to both, space permitting, according to the HCSO.

A beloved community figure who was the first Sikh in HCSO history, Dhaliwal was gunned down on Friday during a traffic stop and died later of his wounds. The suspect has been identified as Robert Solis, who has been charged with capital murder in connection with Dhaliwal's death, according to the HCSO.

The 41-year-old Dhaliwal was a father of three children. He was a 10-year veteran of the sheriff's office and made history when he was allowed to wear his turban and beard, both symbols of the Sikh faith, on duty by then-sheriff Adrian Garcia. He quickly became a local and national sensation, popular for his connection with his local community, his fundraising efforts during Hurricane Harvey, and the awareness he raised about the Sikh faith.

He was also a champion of fellow law enforcement officers. When his colleague, Deputy Darren Goforth, was killed in northwest Harris County, Dhaliwal asked Houstonians to "just wear blue" in tribute. "Wear blue and be proud of that," he told CultureMap content partner, ABC13. "And that shows support to law enforcement. Simple as that."

In the days since his death, Houstonians have created myriad tributes to the fallen officer. A local Chick-fil-A adorned a memorial table for Dhaliwal; local restaurants set up impromptu bake sales or have donated profits to his family.

Conitnue on CultureMap for information about a GoFundMe page set up for Dhaliwal's family.

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The media has mixed feelings about the James Harden trade. Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

James Harden was 100-percent exactly right earlier this week when he said the Houston Rockets were "just not good enough."

How could they be? Not when their moody superstar scorer, who makes about half a million dollars per game, shows up chubby, looking like a kielbasa about to explode in the microwave. Hey, some people eat when they're unhappy, it's a defense mechanism. In Harden's case, the only defense he's exhibited this season. At least he had a good excuse for missing pre-season training camp and alienating his teammates - he was busy partying with Cinnamon and Cherish in Atlanta and Vegas without a mask. Worst of all, he went into the tank his last four games in a Rockets uniform, standing around, arms folded, scoring fewer than 20 points each time, all Rockets losses. Fans in the front row were asking him to move, he was blocking their view of players who cared about winning. James Harden sabotaged his own team, a team that offered him $50 million a year to stay. Something that crazy could only happen in professional sports these days.

There's a saying that drives the American labor movement: "a fair day's wage for a fair day's work." It's the motto of the American Federation of Labor. The National Basketball Players Association is not a member. Harden's sulking on the court, cheating the Rockets and their fans, was unforgivable.

Harden, sitting out games while somehow being on the court, forced the Rockets to trade him - and quick - to Brooklyn. The trade, when you ignore the fine print and unindicted co-conspirators Cleveland and Indiana, sent Harden to Brooklyn in exchange for Caris LeVert (immediately flipped for Victor Oladipo), Jarrett Allen, three first-round draft picks and four swapped first-rounders. It's true, when you trade a superstar, you never get back equal value. The other team wins.

If it makes Rockets fans feel any better, the media in New York already has problems with their new problem child. I should say newest problem child. Kyrie Irving plays for the Nets.

"They (the Nets) gave up everybody! There's nothing left now. I just want to cry, It's awful," weeped WFAN Radio talk host Evan Roberts. For those who don't subscribe to weekly Arbitron ratings reports, WFAN is the most powerful, top-rated sports talk station in the Apple.

"You're leading down the road of doom. Harden and Durant could be gone in a year and a half. I'm not convinced this gives them a better chance to win a title. I'm living a nightmare again. They better freaking win."

Circle March 3 on your Rockets schedule. That's when the Brooklyn Nets, with their Big 3 of Kevin Durant, James Harden and possibly Kyrie Irving visit Toyota Center. I hear talk radio salivating over the record jeers that will cascade over Harden's name, although I'm not buying it. Fans don't think like the media does. I'm thinking that Rockets fans will welcome Harden back - one night only - with cheers.

Toyota Center public address announcer Matt Thomas: "Usually when former Rockets come to town for the first time since leaving, I give them a positive introduction. It's up to the fans how to react."

James Harden spent eight seasons with the Rockets. He is a spectacular player who watched other NBA players engineer trades so they could compete for a title. Harden didn't think the Rockets were good enough, and he's right. So he wanted out. We've all been there, a job we didn't like for a company we didn't like, for a boss we didn't respect. Harden wanting to be traded is understandable. How he went about it was deplorable. He hurt his co-workers.

Houston will make Harden pay for his disrespectful departure. He has an upscale restaurant set to open here. The name of the steakhouse will be "13." Harden's business partners may want to change that number ... before the restaurant's telephone number is disconnected. There are plenty of other restaurants in Houston. Rich people who can afford steakhouse prices hold grudges.

Rockets fans searching for a silver lining say, "We got two decent players and a whole bunch of precious first-round picks" for a malcontent who would rather be anywhere (except maybe Sacramento) than Houston." Yes, a bunch of first-round picks does bode well for the future. Anywhere, except maybe Houston.

Houston's draft war room isn't the most successful operation in the NBA. Over the past decade prior to 2000, under the direction of general manager Daryl Morey, the Rockets made 16 draft picks. Not one of them is still in a Rockets uniform, many of them have sought employment outside of America, some outside of basketball. Among their first-round whiffs: Nikola Mirotic, Terrence Jones, Sam Dekker - all out of the league. Best of all, Royce White, who played three whole games in his NBA career and finished with a scoring average of 0.00 points per game.

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