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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Should Watson be in the MVP conversation? Composite image by Jack Brame.

The 2020 NFL season has a lot going on. Even if we take the coronavirus out of it, there's still a lot to digest. There are so many great performances being put up, one can make an argument for several players to win league MVP. The quarterback position typically gets more credit than others. If I restrict the argument to quarterbacks only, we're looking at Russell Wilson, Patrick Mahomes, and Aaron Rodgers. Dalvin Cook, Alvin Kamara, and Derrick Henry are the leading contenders at running back. On defense, there really isn't a standout defender. The defense gets no love, but there are several guys in the running for NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

Deshaun Watson has been putting up numbers that have matched or rivaled some of the top MVP candidates over his last seven games. That stretch has coincided with the firing of head coach/general manager Bill O'Brien. Coincidence? I think not. Taking the reigns off a wild horse can often lead to said horse running free and flourishing! So question: Should Watson be getting league MVP considerations? I think so.

For starters, he's been one of the best players in the league over the course of the last seven games. 18 passing touchdowns and only two interceptions. The only quarterback with a better touchdown to interception ratio over that same span is Mahomes (19 and 2, as opposed to Watson's 18 & 2). Factoring in total season stats, of course Mahomes is doing much better. He's on a better team with a much better coach and general manager. The same could be said for Wilson and Rodgers. Put Watson on any of those teams and their records wouldn't be any worse than what they are now.

The Texans are 4-3 since firing O'Brien. While that isn't a great record, consider the fact they started the season 0-4 and looked like a total disaster. Watson looked like he was caged and couldn't wait to be freed. The team's record could be even better if the defense had a pulse. The proper supporting cast has a lot to do with a player's MVP candidate's chances. Now that one of his favorite weapons, Will Fuller, and the team's best corner, Bradley Roby, are both suspended for the rest of the season by the league for violating the substance abuse/PED policy, things will get much tougher for Watson.

If he continues to put up these cartoon like numbers, I don't see why he wouldn't be in the MVP conversation. He's currently fopurth in passing yards, sixth in completion percentage, tied for fifth in passing touchdowns, eighth in QBR, and third in quarterback rating. Watson is emerging as the star he was projected to be coming into the 2017 draft. I'm not saying Watson deserves to be the league MVP, but he deserves to be in the conversation. His MVP candidacy should be treated like the family gathering hierarchy: once you reach a certain age and/or status, you're no longer resigned to the kiddie table. Now you get to sit with all the adults, engage in their conversations, and gain access to things you couldn't previously. Watson won't win the MVP award, but I strongly believe he could finish top five. Especially if he keeps making lemonade with the lemons he's been given.

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