Fort Collins has agreed to pay $425,000 to two officers who said they were victims of a pattern of internal ethnic and racial discrimination within the city’s police department.
Former Fort Collins Police Services officer Kennyberg Araujo and current Sgt. Francis Gonzales will be awarded a total of $425,000, including attorneys’ fees, as part of the settlement that sidesteps a public trial based on their allegations. The city of Fort Collins will also reimburse $19,000 for attorneys’ fees and costs incurred by the local chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police, the group that helps identify issues within law-enforcement agencies and lobbies on behalf of officers.
As part of the settlement, the city will also enact a series of measures to correct any issues of discrimination, retaliation and policy violations that emerged through an independent investigation.
“This federal discrimination in employment lawsuit has resulted in the FCPS addressing concerns of long-term and systemic discrimination,” said Qusair Mohamedbhai, who represented Gonzalez and Araujo, in a statement to the Coloradoan. “My clients applaud the policy changes being implemented by the City of Fort Collins. For my clients, these policy changes were the most important aspect of this historic settlement.”