Los Angeles firefighter awarded $1.1M in racial bias suit
A Los Angeles civil court jury has awarded $1.1 million to a black firefighter who said he was racially discriminated against for almost 30 years. Jabari S. Jumaane claims he endured racial bias, harassment and retaliation while working for the Los Angeles Fire Department.
The verdict comes after 16 days of deliberations — and six years after another jury ruled against Jabari S. Jumaane, who alleged a pattern of racial bias, harassment and retaliation in the Los Angeles Fire Department when he worked as a fire inspector. That decision was overturned after an appeals court granted a new trial, agreeing that there had been jury misconduct in the original case.
According to a 2012 report by the city’s office of the independent assessor on Fire Department litigation, Jumaane’s allegation of jury misconduct included a declaration by a juror who “claimed to have witnessed racially motivated misconduct by fellow jurors.”
The Los Angeles Fire Department has faced a series of allegations of discriminatory practices against people of color. Jumaane, a veteran firefighter with 27 years at the department under his belt, said that he wasn’t surprised by the verdict. “I think the evidence speaks for itself,” he said. “The evidence beckoned for the verdict the jury found.”
Justice, in this case at least, has been served.
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