Former Maricopa County Attorney reflects on lasting impact of Balbir Singh Sodhi

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Our series of interviews marking 20 years since the attacks of Sept. 11 continues with the story of Balbir Singh Sodhi, who was murdered days after 9/11. Balbir, a Sikh, was targeted because he wore a turban. The convicted murderer, Frank Roque, shot him at the gas station Balbir owned.

Rick Romley was the Maricopa County Attorney at the time and worked with then-Governor Napolitano to bring Roque to justice. Romley spoke with us about the lasting impact of the case.

“It was a tragic situation,” Romley said. “This was not the Arizona I knew and cared about so deeply.” When talking about the Sept. 11 attacks and Balbir’s murder, Romley said that Arizonans, Republicans and Democrats alike, came together and condemned the killing. Romley said he and former Governor Napolitano stood strong after the murder.

“Balbir Singh Sodhi showed the good that Arizonans can be,” Romley said.

Rick Romley, Former Maricopa County Attorney

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