Muslim officer who was fired files lawsuit claiming harassment

FOX 32 NEWS - A Muslim officer who was fired by the North Chicago Police Department last month is suing for religious discrimination, claiming he was fired after complaining about harassment.

“I risked my life so someone could sleep better. And this is not right. This is not right what they did to me,” said Ramtin Sabet.

Sabet started working for the North Chicago police in 2007, and the Iranian born officer said the harassment started a few years later.

“They started calling me names, they said I was a terrorist, I didn't belong to the country, I should go back to Iran. They said Iran should be nuked,” Sabet said.

According to the lawsuit, fellow officers asked Sabet if he rode his camel to work, and at the firing range they said he was good at shooting because he had been teaching at Al-Qaeda camps in Iran.

And the harassment didn’t’ stop there, he said.

“I would show up to calls, they'd say, oh Mr. Taliban pulled up here, I would call in lunch breaks on the radio traffic asking dispatch for permission, they said oh, Mr. Taliban wants to eat falafel and hummus.”

North Chicago Police Chief Richard Wilson declined to go on camera, but said Sabet was fired for violating department rules and regulations.  Sabet was accused of making racial comments about Jews and then lying about it when questioned by investigators.

“I filed a complaint, I wanted the harassment to stop, they turned it all the way around on me and they terminated me. They accused me of untruthfulness,” Sabet said.

He is suing for suing for wrongful termination, but his attorney says the lawsuit it has a bigger purpose.

“To empower other Muslims who might be experiencing the same types of wrongs to move forward and to speak up and to act on those types of things, so that the next person in line doesn't get subjected to the exact same thing,” said Phil Robertson, Litigation Director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

The police chief said the department would vigorously defend itself against the lawsuit.