Officer Wins Another Discrimination Suit Against HPD

Christopher Zamora [HPD photo]
A federal jury awards a Houston police officer $150,000 after finding department commanders retaliated against him after he filed a discrimination lawsuit. It is the second time a federal jury ruled in his favor. The officer's attorney says it's time the HPD changes its practices.

Twenty-nine-year-old Houston police officer Christopher Zamora was transferred from the elite Crime Reduction Unit to night shift patrol after his father, a retired HPD Lieutenant and nearly two dozen other Hispanic police officers, filed a discrimination lawsuit.

A federal jury determined that the Houston Police Department retaliated against Zamora, and awarded him $150,000 in compensatory damages to his professional career and standing in the law enforcement community.

In December of last year, federal jurors awarded Zamora $378,000 against HPD for the same allegations. Kim Ogg is Zamora's attorney.

"The culture of HPD must change. These two trials which HPD denied and vigorously defended, illustrate the community's unanimous rejection of HPD's illegal employment practices."

Shelby Stewart, a retired Houston police sergeant and now a civil rights activist, calls discrimination in the department as old as homemade sin.

"It is sad that officers especially minorities, blacks and Hispanics, have to continually go to the federal government for redress, so that the stench of racism and discrimination can be eliminated."

Zamora has been cited for his service, including being named Officer of the Year by "The 100 Club."

A request for comment from the city was not answered, but last year City Attorney David Feldman said that the jury's decision in the first federal case would be challenged. 

Retired HPD Sgt Shelby Stewart, attorney Kim Ogg, attorney Randall Kallinen and Kathy Swillry
Retired HPD Sgt. Shelby Stewart, attorney Kim Ogg, attorney Randall Kallinen and Kathy Swillry

Bio photo of Pat Hernandez

Pat Hernandez

Reporter

Pat Hernandez is a general assignments reporter who joined the KUHF news staff in February of 2008...