JUDGE UPHOLDS MALDEF WESTMINSTER POLICE VERDICT
Trial Court Rejects Defendants' Request for a New Trial and Enters Judgment for $3.34 Million Jury Award to Latino Police Officers Denied Promotions and Special Assignments
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California rejected a request for a new trial in the Flores v. City of Westminster case earlier this week. The Court's decision upholds the jury's verdict finding that Westminster discriminated and retaliated against the Latino police officers who were denied promotions and special assignments. The Court also ruled that the jury's decision awarding $3.34 million in damages to the three Latino officers will stand.
"This is yet another victory for the Plaintiffs who bravely stepped forward to challenge Westminster's practice of retaliating and discriminating against Latino officers," said Victor Viramontes, MALDEF National Senior Counsel. "From this result, local government agencies should understand that juries will hold them accountable for violating state and federal rights."
On March 6, 2014, the jury returned a verdict against the City of Westminster and four current and former Chiefs of the Westminster Police Department and in favor of three Latino police officers who experienced racial discrimination and retaliation. Despite their stellar performance and qualifications, the Latino officers were relegated to dead-end, second tier assignments, and upon filing formal complaints, experienced workplace retaliation from superiors, a violation of state and federal law.
"Although a complex case, it was a hard-fought verdict," added co-counsel J. Bernard Alexander III of Alexander Krackow + Glick LLP. "First the jury and now the judge have confirmed that the facts overwhelmingly warranted a Plaintiffs' verdict in this case."
MALDEF is committed to upholding fair employment practices nationwide, and applauds Judge David O. Carter's final judgment. Among the Plaintiffs was an active-duty Major in the U.S. Marine Corps, who had been promoted four times; a long-serving police officer who received the Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Award and Centurion Award; and an officer who was awarded the Bronze medal of merit, including for saving someone's life, and Rookie of the Year award during his first year with the Department.
Founded in 1968, MALDEF is the nation's leading Latino legal civil rights organization. Often described as the "Latino Legal Voice for Civil Rights in America" MALDEF promotes social change through advocacy, communications, community education and litigation in the areas of education, employment, immigrant rights and political access. For more information on MALDEF, please visit: www.maldef.org.
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