LOS ANGELES - MALDEF held a press conference announcing a lawsuit filed against the City of Westminster, as well as two former Police Chiefs of the Westminster Police Department, for discrimination against Latino police officers on the basis of their national origin. Plaintiffs have been denied promotions and Special Assignments, which can lead to promotions, in violation of the law.
Thomas A. Saenz, MALDEF President and General Counsel, stated "More than one in five Westminster residents is Latino. In order to serve well and ably the full community, the Westminster Police Department must cease its discriminatory practices and provide equal opportunity to all, as the law plainly requires."
Victor Viramontes, MALDEF National Senior Counsel, stated "As an institution of public trust, it is unacceptable for a police department to deny Latino officers the promotions they deserve. Westminster must eliminate its discriminatory practices."
With this lawsuit, MALDEF will seek to compel the Police Department, a public institution that must protect and serve well the entire diverse community, to set the right example by implementing fair promotion policies and practices. This lawsuit addresses the right to fair treatment of Latino police officers who have been denied promotions and access to opportunities for promotion in violation of the law.
A copy of the complaint can be found HERE
Founded in 1968, MALDEF is the nation's leading Latino legal civil rights organization. Often described as the "law firm of the Latino community," MALDEF promotes social change through advocacy, communications, community education, and litigation in the areas of education, employment, immigrant rights, and political access