Some police officers in North Carolina claim they are not getting what they deserve when it comes on workers’ compensation. On June 18, a news conference on the issue was held by the April 5 Organization to call for change.
The group was begun bye Heidi Hazrati after husband Kayvan Hazrati, a former CMPD Officer, was shot in the head while responding to a SWAT situation. The couple is currently in litigation to receive benefits they feel are deserved.
Heidi Hazrati said that there is going to be a great deal of repercussion from being shot in the head and that it is wrong to deny anything a doctor says is necessary.
Kayvan Hazrati didn’t wish to talk about the pending litigation, but other officers shared their experiences after personal injuries they sustained in the line of duty. Salisbury officer Gary Mills was struck by a vehicle during a chase with a suspect. He says he wanted to continue working, but was unable.
According to some officers, they tried to receive help from the state through workers’ comp benefits, but their claims were denied.
"Sometimes you have to use common sense and common sense tells you that if someone is willing to put themselves on the line for you then you need to go the extra mile for them,” said Officer Scott Geiler of the Fraternal Order of Police.
The officers hope that by placing their problems in the spotlight, their push for change will receive help.
According to Charlotte officer Tara Stottlemyer, she sustained a back injury that prevents her from being able to care for her children the way she was once able to and she now feels that the city she once protected has “turned its back on her.”
Stottlemyer initially won her case, but the City of Charlotte has filed an appeal.