NEW YORK — A Pakistani-American former police officer in Asbury Park, a city in the neighboring state of New Jersey, filed a lawsuit against the police department, claiming he was wrongfully terminated and faced discrimination during his over 15-year tenure.
The lawsuit filed last week says Kamil Warraich, the police department’s first Muslim officer, was repeatedly called a “terrorist” and “Taliban” during his time there, according to NJ.com, a local news website.
His search for justice has led to his dismissal from the department.
“Mr. Warraich was a trailblazer who wanted nothing more than to serve the people of Asbury Park,” David Castellani, one of Warraich’s lawyers, said in a statement to NJ.com. “Unfortunately … Mr. Warraich faced a hostile work environment created by people within the (police department) who did not want to see a dark-skinned police officer.”
In the lawsuit, the Pakistani-American officer also disputed multiple disciplinary charges and a failed fitness test, which made authorities fire him in 2019, despite having worked at the department since 2004.
Warraich joined other minority officers to form a new union last year after he was kept out of union activities along with other predominantly black officers.
The police officer also complained about being encouraged to use unnecessary force in minority communities.
“I only used force when it was justified and absolutely necessary,” he said.
The suit also accuses city officials and the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office of mishandling his complaints.