Waleed Albakri, a former police officer from Orange County, Florida, is suing the police department for alleged discrimination. Albakri is claiming that his former employers fired him because he was a muslim.
The police department says that they have had a rough history with Albakri, but he was arrested in 2014 for insurance fraud. He was then arrested a second time in 2016.
That was when the police department knew they had to fire him.
“They were using names like, ‘I’m not an American’ or ‘I will never be an American.” he told WESH. Albakri also claimed that his the department refused to accommodate his request to fast during Ramadan.
In addition to the lawsuit, Albakri said he also wants his job back.
“I just want to be reinstated,” he said. “I want my name cleared, and I want the sheriff’s office to take responsibility for what their employees did. People knew about it because people were watching, and there were supervisors watching all of these actions. And guess what? No one did anything to end it.”
Albakri first made a complaint regarding discrimination in 2012, and was subsequently arrested for insurance fraud. He was arrested again in 2014. He was officially fired in 2014, and the department said it was in relation to the insurance fraud case.“[Albakri] was an excellent employee and when he stood up for his rights as an American Muslim, he was insulted, arrested and fired,” the Council On American Islamic Relations told the Orlando Sentinel in a statement.
The lawsuit was specifically aimed at Sheriff Jerry Demings, WESH reported. Albakri said the arrests were made in response to the complaints he made against his co-workers. The charges were ultimately dropped when he agreed to enter a pretrial diversion program.
Albakri, however, claims that his co-workers made racist comments towards him.
He also says the department refused to make special accommodations for him so he can fast for ramadan.