A Pakistani American ex-police officer from New Jersey is suing his former workplace for being wrongfully terminated and for discrimination that lasted for 15 years.
Kamil Warraich, a former officer in Asbury Park, New Jersey, filed his lawsuit last week, May 21, at Monmouth County Superior Court, according to NJ.com.
In his lawsuit, Warraich, who is the first Pakistani American and the second Muslim officer in the department’s history, said his former colleagues called him “terrorist” and “Taliban” for 15 years.
“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,” the lawsuit said.
Even though his records showed he was “far more qualified for the position than the two officers selected and had more experience,” Warraich alleged he was deprived of career growth in 2012 when his superiors passed him over for a promotion in favor of his Caucasian colleagues, Newsweek reported.
“Mr. Warraich was a trailblazer who wanted nothing more than to serve the people of Asbury Park,” one of Warraich’s attorneys, David Castellani, said. “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.”
The ex-officer, along with almost “a dozen other predominantly black officers,” also formed their own union after Warraich and other minority officers were kept out of union activities.
Another of Warraich’s accusations focused on how the majority of his Caucasian colleagues “[targetted] minority communities and [used] excessive force against residents.” Continuing that “supervisors encouraged officers to sometimes hide” the excess force.
Warraich joined the Asbury Park Police Department (APPD) in 2004, but he wasn’t hired full time until three years later. He was let go in 2019 and believes his termination was a retaliation campaign against him after he spoke about the problems in the department.
Officials, however, rebuked his claims and instead said he was fired for multiple disciplinary charges and for failing a fitness for duty test.
Warraich is asking in the lawsuit for his lost wages and to be reinstated as a lieutenant.
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