A former New Jersey police officer, who identifies as Muslim, is suing the police department that employed him Thursday, saying he was frequently called “Taliban” and “terrorist” while there.
Kamil Warraich is “the first Middle-Eastern, Pakistani-American officer and the second Muslim officer in the history of the” Asbury Park Police Department, according to the lawsuit, which alleged that he was called racial slurs by his superior officers. Warraich is suing Asbury Park and several people with the city’s police department over violating the New Jersey Civil Rights Act and for wrongful termination, among other things.
“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 stated.
“It is further alleged that the Defendants and each of them have retaliated against the Plaintiff for asserting his rights and the rights of others protected under New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination in the form of creating a hostile work environment, imposing adverse employment actions including unauthorized and excessive disciplinary actions, suspensions and eventual wrongful termination from employment,” the lawsuit added.
The complaint also alleged that Warraich, who was hired by the APPD in 2004, 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.”
Warraich’s lawsuit claimed he was fired in 2019 for raising concerns to his superiors, after 15 years with the department. It also said that Warraich is seeking monetary damages, including wages lost, and to be reinstated to the rank of Lieutenant in the APPD, among other things.
Newsweek reached out to the Asbury Park Police Department for comment on the allegations levied against them in the lawsuit, but it did not respond back in time for publication.
David Castellani, an attorney for Warraich, told NJ.com in a statement Saturday that his client had to deal with a “hostile work environment” while working in the police department at Asbury Park.
“Mr. Warraich was a trailblazer who wanted nothing more than to serve the people of Asbury 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,” Castellani said.
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