A police officer in Warren, Michigan, was given her job back this week after being fired in December 2013 for cutting a black woman's hair weave.
Officer Bernadette Najor was reinstated into the police force by an arbitrator who ruled in her favor (video below).
“The arbitrator clearly indicated [the police administration] did not have just cause to terminate her and the arbitrator determined she did not violate any of the terms and conditions of the [employment] contract,” Najor's lawyer Peter Sudnick told MacombDaily.com.
“It was a pretty clean case. She was completely exonerated,” added Sudnick.
Officer Najor cut the hair weave off Charda Gregory, who was physically restrained to a chair in the police station (video below).
Gregory was arrested on Nov. 13, 2013, on suspicion of vandalism at a local hotel. Gregory was reportedly pepper sprayed by police after she kicked the window of a police car.
When Gregory was taken to the Warren police station, a surveillance video (no audio) showed police officers strapping her to a chair and Officer Najor cutting her hair.
However, Police Commissioner Jere Green fired Officer Najor on Dec. 12, 2013, because he felt that Officer Najor's haircut of Gregory was “demeaning.”
During an arbitration hearing in July 2014, Najor claimed that her supervisors told her that anything not permanently attached to a suspect must be removed because it could be used as a weapon.
However, Gregory's hair weave was sewn into the braids on her scalp. Some of her hair was pulled out by the roots by Officer Najor, who was also caught on video pushing Gregory twice.
Arbitrator Nora Lynch wrote in ruling, “The grievant [Najor] testified that she had heard the prisoner make remarks about suicide, and even though she didn’t think the prisoner was serious, she decided to take the precautionary action of removing the weave to make sure that the prisoner did not use the weave to hurt herself or others."
The Warren City Attorney’s Office dropped all the charges against Gregory and paid her a settlement of $75,000. The City of Warren also paid the owner of the hotel $1,386 for the damage to the TV and wall.
When 7 Action News tried to interview Najor, she threatened to call the police.
"If that camera is on me I will call the police! Call 911 right now!" said Najor.
Najor didn't say what crime the news station was allegedly committing by recording her.