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Denver deputy suspended for using racial slur on inmate

DENVER – A Denver deputy is off the job with no pay for making racial comments to a Muslim inmate.

Deputy Jimmy Underwood has been suspended for 30 days for using a racial slur while trying to move an inmate from a cell on June 15, 2014.

The Denver Department of Safety had strong words for Deputy Underwood writing that he “demonstrated conduct that is offensive, racist and derogatory.”

“It has a very strong hate and anti-Muslim connotations attached to it,” said civil rights attorney Qusair Mohamedbhai.

Mohamedbhai said the accusations are offensive. “It’s racist,” he said.

Deputy Underwood is accused of calling the inmate “Abdul” multiple times, even though the inmate’s name is Mohamed.

“The substitution of one Muslim name for another has a feeling of poking fun at the name in general,” said Mohamedbhai.

At one point, the inmate claims Deputy Underwood told his cellmate, “Tell your partner ‘Abdul the towel head’ to come out.”

“The term towel head to a Muslim is approaching the N-word,” said Mohamedbhai.

In the discipline letter, Deputy Underwood said he never called the inmate a towel head. He also said he mistakenly referred to him as Abdul.

“A 30-day suspension for this type of infraction is appropriate,” said Mohamedbhai.

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