An Afghan-born former SF police officer who allegedly endured more than a year of racial slurs, and says he was fired for speaking up about it, has been awarded a $455,000 settlement from the city.
According to now-former SFPD officer Mohammad Habib, an Afghan-born officer who joined the force in early 2017, his nearly year-and-a-half on the force was marred by a stream of racist slurs from his colleagues. He says he spoke up, and was then fired in May 2018. According to a discrimination lawsuit he filed three months later, he was fired because he spoke up about the slurs.
There must have been some merit to those claims, because Mission Local reports that on Tuesday, the SF Board of Supervisors approved a $455,000 settlement for Habib that had been negotiated by City Attorney David Chiu.
“I feel vindicated,” Habib told Mission Local after the settlement was approved. According to that outlet, the nearly half a million dollars is the largest settlement approved for an SFPD office in 13 years,
Mission Local has a laundry list of the racist comments alleged to have been directed at Habin by his colleagues. One officer allegedly repeatedly called him a“sand n*****,” another is alleged to have said “You can leave your … RPGs and grenades at home.” Habib said he also heard slurs from fellow officers against Blacks and LGBTQ+ people on a regular basis.
For their part, SFPD claimed Habib was fired because of misrepresentations on his job application.
There is also the odd additional footnote to this story that the SFPD claimed, when dismissing Habib, that he had claimed to be a CIA officer involved with killing Osama bin Laden. It’s unclear whether he made that claim to anyone beyond a woman he was dating or her family, and frankly, whether he ever actually even claimed that. But the allegation was obviously not considered significant enough to jeopardize the very sizable settlement Habib will now receive.
City Attorney spokesperson Jen Kwart simply told Mission Local that “We believe the proposed settlement is an appropriate resolution given the inherent costs of continued litigation.”
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