Armenian-American Cops Allege Discrimination In Glendale

In a city with a population that’s nearly half Armenian-American, four current law enforcers and one former officer with Armenian heritage are suing the Glendale Police Department for discrimination.

The suit was filed in federal court last week by officers John Balian and Robert Parseghian, sergeants Vahak Mardikian and Tigran Topadzhikyan, and former officer Benny Simonzad, who was once the department’s spokesman.

The cops allege that they were subjected to ethnic epithets, harsher reprimands and closer scrutiny as a result of their heritage.

Simonzad was demoted from his position as spokesman and then fired in 2008. He’s also suing to get his job back.

City Attorney Scott Howard calls allegations of discrimination in the Glendale department “utterly false.”

The cops’ attorney, Carney Shegerian, noted that officers of Armenian heritage are underrepresented on the force in relation to Armenian-Americans’ population numbers in Glendale.