Officer claims racism

Police have used racial slurs and blocked his shot at promotion, lawsuit states.

May 20, 2010|By Veronica Rocha

For the second time in less than a month, a Glendale police officer has filed a lawsuit claiming on-the-job discrimination.

Tyrone Hunter, who is black, filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court on Tuesday alleging that he endured racial slurs and was unfairly taken off a top narcotics investigative assignment and put back on patrol.

Hunter, who joined Glendale police in 1992, also claimed in his lawsuit that despite winning professional accolades for his work, he received unfairly negative work reviews that prevented him from advancing within the department.


“Mr. Hunter had numerous derogatory racial terms . . . used against him,” said Sybil Leung, a spokeswoman for his attorney, Carney Shegerian.

Hunter’s case is the latest officer lawsuit filed against the city this year.

City Atty. Scott Howard acknowledged that his office had been served with Hunter’s lawsuit, but had not fully read through the allegations.

“We are still reviewing the case,” he said, adding that the city plans to defend the suit vigorously.

Still, he said he noticed some of the accusations in the lawsuit did not include specific dates.

Earlier in May, Officer Marc Mendoza filed a separate lawsuit in Los Angeles County Superior Court alleging that he was recently demoted from detective to patrol officer because of his friendship with Sgt. Vahak Mardikian, one of the five plaintiffs in a separate discrimination case filed in January.

Mardikian filed a joint lawsuit Jan. 20 in U.S. District Court with Sgt. Tigran Topadzhikyan, Officers John Balian and Robert Parseghian, and former Officer Benny Simonzad that alleged years of derogatory comments, discrimination and harassment.

Shegerian also represents the four officers and former officer in their lawsuit.

“We just hope to give the people who feel like they have been wronged a voice,” Leung said.

— Jason Wells contributed to this report.

Get in touch VERONICA ROCHA covers public safety and the courts. She may be reached at (818) 637-3232 or by e-mail at veronica.rocha@

Glendale News-Press Articles Glendale News-Press Articles