Federal Court finds RCMP guilty of racism

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Federal Court finds RCMP guilty of racism

Postby Thomas » Tue Jun 05, 2012 8:43 am

A federal court has ruled racism was the motive behind the 1999 termination of a Muslim trainee, opening the door for the former cadet to rejoin the RCMP.

“I can’t wait to get back into the RCMP,” Ali Tahmourpour said. “I can’t let the acts of one or two instructors become indicative of the behaviour of the organization altogether.”

His lawyer, Paul Champ detailed some of the racist acts his client was subjected to while training in Regina. “Ali signs his name from right to left in the traditional Persian way. One instructor said, ‘What kind of f----g language is that?’ The instructor claimed during the tribunal that he was just curious about languages.”

Champ said his client, a Mississauga resident, was also the subject of racist jokes and taunts routinely made by his instructors in the late 1990s.

Shortly after Tahmourpour wrote a nine-page letter of complaint to a senior officer he was dismissed, 14 weeks into the 22-week training period, and told he could not enrol again.

Tahmourpour took his case to the Canadian Human Rights Commission, and a tribunal decided in his favour in 2008. The RCMP challenged the ruling.

The Federal Court of Appeal stated in the decision released Monday: “[A]n instructor named Corporal Boyer discriminated against Mr. Tahmourpour by swearing at him and ridiculing him for signing his name in the Persian style, and by being especially verbally abusive and hostile toward him . . . the fact that racist jokes made during the sensitivity training at the Depot were condoned by the instructors made Mr. Tahmourpour feel vulnerable to racism . . . many of Mr. Tahmourpour’s performance reviews were fabricated and influenced by discriminatory attitudes . . . a memorandum in Mr. Tahmourpour’s file stating that he was not to be considered for re-enrolment due to his alleged unstable mental condition, although he had never seen the staff psychologist, amounted to discrimination.”

The decision included two years compensation for lost wages, but the appeals court is referring the matter back to the tribunal which had ruled Tahmourpour should receive nine years of lost wages. The RCMP has paid him the $33,000 in damages for pain and suffering and expenses that the Tribunal ordered.

An RCMP spokesperson said the force isn’t in a position to comment at this point as it’s still reviewing the case.

Since his dismissal from the RCMP, Tahmourpour has worked as a real estate agent in Mississauga. Chasing after his two-year-old has helped him stay fit, and he said he’s ready to go back to the force immediately. “I come from a multi-generational police family in Iran. This is what I want to be doing. My great-grandfather did it.”

When asked how he could reconcile working for an organization that, despite overwhelming evidence of systemic racism, fought to keep Tahmourpour out, he said: “It’s obviously worrisome. But maybe I can be a part of the solution. I hope the RCMP sees me as an asset to correct some of its mistakes.”

Champ, who has represented other RCMP staff who have accused the force of racism, said the case is an example of the RCMP’s notorious “Blue Wall.”

“The RCMP leadership is very wedded to its reputation. They would rather bury problems than deal with them. I hope the RCMP learned from this case.”

But when asked if he expects another appeal Champ said, “They could take it to the Supreme Court.”

Tahmourpour said it wouldn’t matter. “I can be a part of the future of the RCMP, to be an institution we can all be proud of.”

http://www.thestar.com/news/crime/polic ... -of-racism

http://www.rcmpwatch.com/federal-court- ... of-racism/
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Re: Federal Court finds RCMP guilty of racism

Postby Thomas » Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:19 am

RCMP faces $1M payout on discrimination case

The Mounties could be paying more than $1 million as a result of a human rights ruling in favour of a Muslim Iranian-Canadian who faced discrimination at the RCMP Training Academy in Regina and was terminated.

The force must also give Ali Tahmourpour, 35, another chance at becoming an RCMP officer, and introduce changes at the academy to deal with systemic discrimination, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal said in its ruling released Wednesday.

'Something that was taken from me back in 1999, without any just cause, has been returned to me.' — Ali Tahmourpour

"I have found that the discriminatory treatment prevented Mr. Tahmourpour from demonstrating the knowledge and skills required to be a police officer," tribunal member Karen Jensen said in the 46-page written decision on Tahmourpour's discrimination complaint.

Tahmourpour was delighted at the outcome, the culmination of an eight-year fight against the RCMP.

"Something that was taken from me back in 1999, without any just cause, has been returned to me," Tahmourpour told CBC News on Wednesday. "It's a great feeling."

Born in Iran, Tahmourpour said he had a life-long dream of joining the Mounties, and in 1999 entered the RCMP academy in Regina.

Four months into his training, Tahmourpour was booted out. The RCMP said he didn't measure up, but Tahmourpour said he was the victim of harassment and discrimination at the hands of a number of instructors.

"What I experienced at depot [division] was an ordeal. It was difficult," Tahmourpour said.

Once, according to the tribunal decision, Tahmourpour caught the attention of a instructor after he signed his name in Persian script, from right to left, as he had been taught as a child

The tribunal accepted Tahmourpour's account that an instructor told him: "What kind of a [f---ing] language is that, or is it something that you just made up?"

Another time, Tahmourpour was singled out by an instructor for wearing a religious pendant.

One instructor would stand very close to him at the firing range and scream into his ear that he was a "loser," a "coward," "[f---ing] useless" and "incompetent," according to Tahmourpour's testimony.

His lawyer, Barry Weintraub, said those incidents, and others, added up to an abusive and unnecessary pattern of harassment.

"What happened here is, for reasons involving Mr. Tahmourpour's background, they took an intense dislike and railroaded him out of the RCMP," Weintraub said.

Complainant focused on his case

The RCMP argued Tahmourpour failed the cadet training course for reasons that had nothing to do with discrimination. Evidence they presented at the 2007 tribunal hearing suggested he had problems with communications skills, judgment and ability to solve problems.

The tribunal also heard that on two occasions, Tahmourpour's fellow cadets took him for medical attention for apparently stress-related concerns. He was vomiting, shaking, hyperventilating and incoherent, the tribunal heard.

However, the tribunal decided that at least some of Tahmourpour's problems stemmed from the discrimination he faced at the Regina facility.

After having his training contract terminated, Tahmourpour moved to Toronto where he worked sporadically as a real estate agent and a Persian-language translator.

He said he was working almost full time pursuing his human rights case.

The decision said the RCMP must pay him $30,500 for pain and suffering, for a special payment and for expenses. It also has to pay him some lost wages and interest, which could total several hundred thousand dollars, according to Weintraub. In total, Tahmourpour should receive $500,000 to $650,000, Weintraub said.

The tribunal also ordered the RCMP to pay Tahmourpour's legal bills, which Weintraub said were about $500,000.

The force is also being told to give Tahmourpour another shot at training, something he still wants to do.

"Absolutely, no mistake about it," he said. "I'm just hoping the RCMP would see things for what they are, and I could go back."

The tribunal has ordered the RCMP to institute a mandatory diversity or cultural awareness program for cadets and instructors. It also wants new procedures to help cadets if they have been victims of discrimination.

The RCMP did not return calls asking for comment.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatche ... ation.html
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Re: Federal Court finds RCMP guilty of racism

Postby Thomas » Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:37 am

Ex-RCMP cadet wins discrimination appeal

Iranian-Canadian mocked for signing name in Persian script

An Iranian-Canadian who has been in a 10-year battle with the RCMP over allegations of discrimination while he was training in Regina has achieved a key victory in the latest court skirmish.

Ali Tahmourpour entered the Mounties' training academy, known as Depot Division, in July 1999. Four months later, he was booted out of the 26-week-long program.

Tahmourpour then complained to the Canadian Human Rights Commission that he suffered discrimination based on his ethnic background and religious beliefs.

In 2008, he won the case. The RCMP was ordered to re-enrol Tahmourpour in the academy and pay damages, court costs and lost wages estimated to be worth in excess of $1 million.

But the RCMP appealed and the matter has been before two levels of Federal Court judges.

Most recently, in a decision published online Friday, the Federal Court of Appeal said Tahmourpour's discrimination claim should stand, but the amount of compensation needs to be reconsidered.

Back to tribunal

The court said the order for the RCMP to pay wages to Tahmourpour went too far and the amount should have been capped.

On that issue, the two sides were ordered to go back to a tribunal of the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

According to the Human Rights Tribunal, Tahmourpour was ridiculed by training officers for using Persian script to sign his name. He was also singled out in front of other cadets for being allowed to wear a religious pendant.

Tahmourpour was also found to have suffered "especially verbally abusive and hostile" treatment from instructors, based on his ethnic background.

Tahmourpour, now 37 and living in Ontario, could not be reached Friday for comment. Calls to a media relations officer for the RCMP training academy were not immediately returned.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatche ... 10730.html
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