Afghani Police Officer Applicant Loses Lawsuit

After the City of Minneapolis did not hire Hamid Amini for a position with the Minneapolis Police Department, Amini, who was born in Afghanistan, filed suit, alleging that the City discriminated against him based on his race, color, and national origin. Amini argued that he satisfied the City’s criteria to be placed on the eligible list and was ranked second among the 12 candidates certified to the hiring decision-maker. Moreover, Amini contended, his application shows that he had relevant work experience, spoke five languages, was college educated, and maintained appropriate certifications.

The federal Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals found that the City had articulated a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for its decision to not hire Amini. As described by the Court, the City “had serious concerns about his temperament. To the extent Amini argues that the City should not have considered temperament in making the hiring decision, we find the argument to be without merit. During an arrest, the ability to have an even temperament and remain cool under pressure is really critical both in terms of getting through the situation safely, arresting someone, and keeping the officer safe and keeping the citizen safe. For a candidate for a police job to become agitated during a background interview does not bode well for how that person is probably going to be able to withstand verbal criticism when answering 911 calls.”

Amini v. City of Minneapolis, 2011 WL 2610749 (8th Cir. 2011).