Tennessee: $100K in damages awarded to fired Muslim trooper
A federal judge has ordered Tennessee to pay $100,000 in damages to a Muslim state trooper fired after a military liaison falsely accused him of terrorist sympathies.
The Knoxville News Sentinel reports U.S. District Judge Tena Campbell issued the order this week. Last year, Campbell ruled the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security discriminated against De’Ossie Dingus because of his religion.
Campbell initially awarded Dingus a symbolic $1 in damages, chiefly because Dingus didn’t seek counseling or other psychological treatment. To receive damages, a plaintiff must show discrimination caused emotional distress.
Then a federal appeals court in April declared the award "wholly inadequate," saying the emotional harm Dingus suffered was "egregious" and obvious.
Dingus previously won a separate civil service hearing awarding him back pay and benefits. He took early retirement.