OC officers awarded $3.5m in discrimination case

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Updated: 3/06/2014 9:32 pm

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — A jury has awarded more than $3.5 million to three Orange County police officers who claimed they were denied promotions because they are Latino.

A federal jury on Thursday found that the Westminster Police Department had discriminated against the officers, who sued the city, Police Chief Kevin Baker and three former chiefs.

Messages left for Baker, attorneys for the defendants and the city manager weren't immediately returned.

The officers, Jose Flores, Ryan Reyes and Brian Perez, claimed that despite having more than 40 years of total police service, they never got special assignments such as SWAT or detective units and remained patrol officers.

The suit also claimed that officers were disciplined in retaliation for filing discrimination complaints.

Their attorney, Victor Viramontes, says the officers feel they've won a significant victory.

©2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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