Imagine working in a workplace where your colleagues call you a “Terrorist” or “Taliban” instead of your name for 15 years.
Kamil Warraich, a Pakistani American former police officer in Asbury Park in New Jersey says he endured these racist slurs for 15 years before he claimed to have been “wrongfully” terminated.
Associated Press of Pakistan reported Warraich filed a lawsuit against the department for violating the New Jersey Civil Rights Act. Warraich claimed in his lawsuit that he had been “wrongfully terminated and faced discrimination over his 15-year tenure.”
According to Newsweek, Warraich was the “first Middle Eastern, Pakistani American officer and the second Muslim officer in the history of the Absury Park Police Department (APPD).”
Warraich accused his predominantly White colleagues of targeting minority communities, as he and other minority officers were allegedly excluded from union activities. That is why, he and almost a dozen of mainly Black officers formed a new union last year, according to the lawsuit and and an announcement from the state’s Fraternal Order of Police.
The lawsuit stated, “Plaintiff has continuously been referred to on a number of occasions as a ‘terrorist’ by his supervisors along with some other racial slurs targeted and demeaning to his race, religion and national origin, which have materially altered the terms and conditions of Plaintiff’s work environment and employment.”
David Castellani, an attorney for Warraich told NJ.com, “Mr. Warraich was a trailblazer who wanted nothing more than to serve the people of Absury Park. Unfortunately, Mr. Warraich faced a hostile work environment created by people within the APPD who did not want to see a dark skinned police officer.”
NJ.com said APPD rebuked Warraich’s complaints and instead claimed it fired him after racking up multiple disciplinary charges and failing a fitness for duty test. The former Pakistani officer denied all accusations.
The complaint also presumed that Warraich was passed over for a promotion in favor of White colleagues in 2012; even though his record showed that he “was far more qualified for the position than the two officers selected and had more experience”, according to Newsweek.
As of now, the lawsuit asks for Warraich’s lost wages and his reinstatement as a lieutenant among other requests.
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