It was back in 2007 when a group of Hispanic Houston police officers filed a lawsuit against the department claiming they weren’t being fairly promoted because of race.
Manuel Zamora was one of the original plantiffs who’s case was eventually dismissed.
Zamora says once it was clear at HPD he’d filed the lawsuit his son Christopher Zamora was retaliated against.
The younger Zamora, also a Houston police officer, then joined his father’s lawsuit alleging retaliation.
A federal jury Friday in Judge Nancy Atlas’ court ruled in Christopher Zamora’s favor.
While Manuel Zamora’s discrimination lawsuit was dismissed in 2010 he’s celebrating because of his son’s victory.
The elder Zamora says it was tough working in a department where you knew you were qualified for a position but still couldn’t get promoted.
The 31 year veteran of the force, who just retired the day his son’s verdict came in, says there was discrimination in the department despite there being an African American police chief over the last decade.
Zamora says the discrimination came from department executives and middle managers who were mainly White.
In the meantime, Christopher Zamora’s attorney Kim Ogg says federal law prevents agencies like HPD from retaliating against the family of someone who’s filed a federal lawsuit against that body.
Houston City Attorney David Feldman responded to the verdict in a written statement:
We are disappointed in the verdict and do not believe it is supported by the evidence. We will ask the trial court for relief, and failing that, take it up on appeal to the Fifth Circuit. I am confident that the City will ultimately prevail.
Ogg says Christopher Zamora was awarded a $378,000 judgement in the case from a jury of his peers.