ETHNIC ARMENIAN OFFICER AWARDED $150,000 IN LA HARASSMENT CASE
- A jury awarded an Armenian American police detective $150,000 for claims that he faced on-the-job discrimination and harassment because of his ethnicity, his attorney said.
The detective who filed the lawsuit, Steve Karagiosian, testified in Los Angeles County Superior Court that detectives and sergeants in the police department regularly used derogative terms - such as "towel heads" - in referring to Armenians.
The decision comes two weeks after a jury awarded former Burbank Police Deputy Chief William Taylor nearly $1.3 million based on claims that he was fired in retaliation for refusing to sign off on the terminations of minority officers and for raising concerns about how a sexual harassment incident was being handled.
"The Burbank Police Department has been proven to have ethnic harassment within its department," said Karagiosian's attorney, Solomon Gresen, after the jury's verdict came in. "Det. Karagiosian had complained for years and the jury's verdict should demonstrate to the city that this is a problem that needs to be immediately addressed."
Named "Officer of the Year" in 2007, Karagiosian is still employed with the department. The lawsuit, Gresen said, was not about economic damages.
Karagiosian was one of five former and current officers in the lawsuit. The part of the case involving Officer Cindy Guillen is expected to start May 2.
The three other officers were dropped from the lawsuit, although there is a separate case pending in federal court, Glendale News Press reported.
- 1841 Creation of the anti-gentry "Miakam" Association in Constantinople.
- 1869 Birth of Levon Shant (writer, public figure). He died in 1951.
- 1964 The Kiev-Tbilisi-Baku-Yerevan friendship celebrated in Yerevan.