California police officers bill of rights protection stops at the courtroom door

A Santa Clara County Superior Court judge has rejected a former Mountain View police officers claim that the city fired him as a result of his military status and for not meeting quotas, city officials announced yesterday.

Nicholas Emmerling, 36 said he was terminated in May 2014 after working for the police department for six years because he was serving in the National Guard, which prevented him from writing the number of tickets and making the number of arrests required.

However, Judge Maureen Folan granted the city’s motion to dismiss the suit on Tuesday. “The court agreed with the city that, as a matter of law, there was no merit Mr. Emmerling lawsuit and found no evidence of any wrongdoing by the city, so he was not entitled to a trial,” said city Attorney Jamie Quinn.

Quotas claimed

When Emmerling was terminated in 2014, he claims that when he asked why he was being fired, his boss wouldn’t give an explanation, according to the lawsuit. And Emmerling asked another officer if he knew anything, he responded that he heard “stats was an issue “.

However police chief Max also disputed the use of quotas. “I want to be clear, the city does not have quotas “, but also said in a statement “MVPD officers work 10 and 12 hour shifts only a portion of which spent responding to public safety calls.

When they are not responding to those calls, officers are respected to stay proactive, keeping an eye out for criminal activity and, above all keeping our community safe. ”

The city claims Emmerling was terminated for failing to sufficiently engage in self initiated activity and failing to respond to coaching from his supervisors, “according to court documents.

Emmerling argues that he was “an exceptional police officer consistently had excellent performance evaluations, “and that “his self initiated activity was higher then that alleged by the city.”

Iraq deployment

Emmerling was deployed to Iraq for the second time in 2009 while working as a reserve police officer. He returned from Iraq in 2010, and he submitted his application for a full-time position in February 2012. At this time, another officer, the lawsuit didn’t name, warned Emmerling not to emphasize “his military experience as the department had a history of not promoting or hiring activity actively serving her reservists or national guardsman due to concern that their service somehow demonstrated a lack of commitment to ‘real’ jobs on the police.”

The lawsuit, filed May 20, 2015, said the departments discrimination based on military status is “particularly transparent when reviewing his history of hiring and promoting, which punishes members of the military.”

The lawsuit gives an example of a former unidentified officer who was repeatedly passed over for promotion while she was serving in the Army reserves.

But when she retired from the military, the department immediately promoted her to detective. In her ruling, Folan stated that the man Yuling didn’t “produce sufficient evidence demonstrating that his failure to be promoted and subsequent termination resulted from his military status. ”

As for Emmerling’s claim that other officers were also discriminated against for their military service, Folon said the testimony of other officer, Frank Rivas, failed to show this city took any unfavorable employment actions against him because of military leave.

Emmerling’s lawyers, are Frank Busch, of Kerr & Wagstaffe in San Francisco.

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