KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — A federal judge has ruled that the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety did not discriminate against a former officer when it fired him.
The city of Kalamazoo had asked for a summary judgment — that is, a decision from the judge without a trial — and it was granted. A judge ruled Tuesday in favor of KDPS.
Amir Khillah sued KDPS in June 2018, claiming his termination a few months earlier was a violation of his civil rights and federal whistleblower protections because he had complained about discriminatory behavior from a sergeant.
The city previously admitted that a sergeant used the term hajji, which refers to a Muslim making a pilgrimage to Mecca but can also be used as a slur. However, it denied that Khillah’s firing was discriminatory. It said Khillah was fired because he mishandled a traffic stop and lied about it.
An arbitration hearing in 2019 found that KDPS had just cause to fire Khillah. The federal judge upheld that decision.
Khillah was born in Egypt, where he said he faced oppression because he is Christian. He is now an American citizen.