A Muslim police officer of Bangladeshi descent has filed suit against the NYPD, claiming his alleged racist supervisor — the infamous since-fired Inspector James Kobel — refused to promote him for years, The Post has learned.
Fuhad Hussain, a sergeant in the department’s Office of Equity and Inclusion, says he was passed over seven times since joining the unit in September 2019, according to his lawsuit filed Wednesday in Manhattan Supreme Court.
The 10-year veteran of the force completed numerous trainings but watched as his peers — who were of different religions and races — were bumped up to grades of “special assignment” as a sergeant and saw their pay increase by upwards of $20,000 per year, the suit states.
In the NYPD, members can get promoted in two ways: through the civil service test or landing a discretionary promotion. The latter, Hussain alleges, happens in secrecy and is nearly impossible to obtain without being closely connected with a supervisor who helps you out.
“This is one of the reasons why I’m fighting this because of the whole discretionary promotion,” Hussain told The Post. “With the discretionary promotion, somebody that selects you … and nobody knows who that person is or how it’s done.
“There should be some basis for it.”
Hussain, however, believes his clear why he wasn’t elevated — after seeing the hundreds of racist, misogynistic and anti-Semitic comments the NYPD said his former boss made on an online bulletin board known as the Rant.
Kobel, who formerly oversaw workplace-discrimination complaints for the department, was fired after trying to retire amid an investigation into the posts last year.
At least one of the posts — made using the handle “Clouseau,” after the bumbling detective in the “Pink Panther” movies — specifically targeted Muslim people.
“This crew in FD is no different than the much larger crew of anti-shaving conscientious objectors that we have in this thing of ours… It’s all bulls–t. The flat-out Muslims refuse to assimilate.Looking at all of this makes me want to vomit,” the post stated, according to the lawsuit.
Hussain, who had an annual salary of $97,894 in 2021, alleges that Kobel, along with his other supervisor, knew of the “discriminatory application of discretionary promotions yet continued this disparate treatment and failed to Promote Plaintiff despite Plaintiff being qualified for the promotion.”
His attorney, John Scola, said in a statement, “We hope that as a result of Sergeant Hussain’s lawsuit, the NYPD will finally take real action to protect the Muslim officers on the job who continue to be treated like second-class citizens based on their religious beliefs.”