FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- Ft. Collins police are caught-up in a nasty lawsuit claiming racism and discrimination against an officer of Brazilian decent.
The lawsuit alleges racial discrimination extending all the way up to the deputy chief.
In the suit, former detective Kennyberg Araujo alleges his boss, Sgt. Gary Shaklee, targeted him, "because of his Hispanic appearance, accent and Brazilian origin."
The suit claims Shaklee referred to Hispanics as "lazy and incompetent," and says "Sgt. Shaklee has a history of singling out employees of Hispanic origin for criticism, unwarranted complaints and abusive treatment."
When internal complaints were filed against Shaklee, the suit claims Shaklee's bosses conspired to cover-up the claims and even retaliate against Araujo with counter-claims.
Attorneys for detective Araujo indicate this isn't an isolated case.
They said surveys of the police union in Ft. Collins were 'highly critical' of top managers and the suit is, “reflective of Defendant Shaklee’s conformity with a long standing practice of discrimination based upon race, which had been condoned, permitted or otherwise encouraged within the agency.”
There are surveys of the Fraternal Order of Police taken within the past decade that highlight racism and discrimination within the organization, according to the lawsuit.
Denver7 reached out, but got no comment from Ft. Collins Police Services on Wednesday.