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VEDANTA MASS MEDIAIndia-born US cop gets $1.65 million for racial bias  

 

 

 

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               India-born US cop gets $1.65 million for racial bias

 

                   


                   
Indo-Asian News Service

 

 

 

      New York, Sep 19 (IANS) An India-born former police officer in Washington has won $1.65 million in an out-of-court settlement in his racial bias lawsuit in which he claimed he was called a "sandnigger" by a superior, received racially explicit voicemails and was dispatched alone to confront an armed man.

 

      In his suit, Navin Sharma, 52, who worked for the police department in Vancouver city in the US for nine years, said he was subjected to seven years of racial harassment, which began when he testified against senior members of the department in a 1998 internal affairs investigation.

 

      With court mediation, the suit was settled earlier this month and is said to be the largest single-plaintiff work-related payout in Washington state, India-West has reported.

 

      Sharma's first racial discrimination suit in 2000 against the department was settled for $287,000 and with a clause saying he could remain at his job for the next four years.

 

      Yet, he continued to be the target of racially-motivated incidents and was fired in 2006 when the four-year clause expired.

 

      He was fired for cutting and pasting information into reports, a practice allegedly used by other officers on the force, who were not disciplined.

 

      "In my 16 years as a law enforcement officer, I have never seen an agency go after an officer so zealously, with such complete disregard to his civil rights as I have in this case against officer Sharma," said Corporal Stephen Pfuhl in an affidavit.

 

      He added that other officers on the force had committed "far more egregious acts" than Sharma's report errors, but were not disciplined.

 

      Sharma is a graduate of St. Xavier's in Mumbai, and has master's degrees in geological and petroleum engineering. After working for several years in the oilfields of Alaska, he joined the Vancouver police department in 1997, the only Indian American to have served it.

 

      A year later, he was asked to testify in an internal affairs investigation against two officers who "allegedly misbehaved during a domestic violence prevention-training programme".

 

      "I told the truth as I saw it," Sharma was quoted as saying by India-West. "The cops were not happy and a whole vendetta began against me."

 

      He added that he was largely unaware of the retaliation initially, until a fellow officer told him of the conspiracy against him and claimed the police were "going to teach me a lesson on the streets".

 

      Sharma said harassment included his SWAT uniform being stolen from his locker, a satirical recording of a man with an Indian accent repeatedly played over the 911 dispatch system, and several occasions when officers failed to back him up on patrol calls.

 

      About the settlement this month, Sharma said: "The monetary part was measured, but more importantly, my credibility was returned to me."

 

      He now works as an emergency room nurse in the Providence Portland Medical Centre in Oregon.

 

 

 

 

        Indo-Asian News Service

 

 

 

 

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International Yoga Day 21 June 2015
International Yoga Day 21 June 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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