WASHINGTON - Two police officers have sued Washington Metropolitan police in Superior Court, accusing its officials of suspending them indefinitely for converting to Islam.
The investigation and suspension of the plaintiffs was initiated and conducted by defendant McGuire because of the plaintiffs' religious affiliation and personal associations, statements of expression made by plaintiffs, and the plaintiffs' respective name changes, the complaint filed at the District of Columbia, in Superior Court, was cited by Court House News on Friday, February 1.
Adham Numair-El and Ishmeal Heru-Bey, formerly Joseph Gibson and Jamal Adams, sued Metro Police Chief Cathy Lanier, internal affairs agent James McGuire and the District of Columbia, in Superior Court.
The complaint was made in retaliation for the plaintiffs complaining that their suspensions and the first effort to terminate their employment were acts of unlawful discrimination and violations of the plaintiffs' constitutionally protected rights.
Numair-El, who's been on the force since 2004, and Heru-Bey, a police officer since 2002, both say they converted separately to Islam for spiritual peace and fulfillment.
Finding Islam, they legally changed their names and received new government-issued identification.
While Heru-Bey obtained a new Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) identification card and badge under his new name, Numair-El claims he was denied both documents.
Numair-El added that he was fired from his part-time job as a security officer after losing his police powers.
Facing trial board, the two officers said they were found not guilty of misconduct.
Returning to work, they were suspended again, one day later.
The officers claim that McGuire caused the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration to investigate the lawfulness of their driver's licenses, which bear their Islam names.
Both say the MPD tried to fire them "at the urging and direction of defendants McGuire and Lanier, because of plaintiff's religious affiliation and personal associations."
The two Muslim officers noted that their suspensions cost them the ability to work special events and overtime.
"Both plaintiffs have remained suspended (with pay but no overtime, no authorization to work part-time, and no ability to be promoted) for nearly two years since the trial board ruled in the plaintiffs' favor and without notice of any allegations against them, the complaint said.
They seek reinstatement and compensatory and punitive damages totaling $16 million, for employment discrimination, civil rights violations and negligent supervision.