Charlotte, North Carolina, Police Seek Workers’ Compensation Improvements
In mid-June, the April 5 Organization held a media conference in Charlotte on the topic in order to call for change and alert the public of the present situation. The group was founded by Heidi Hazarti, whose husband was shot in the head while responding to a SWAT situation in 2006. CMPD Officer Kayvan Hazarati survived his serious head injury and has spent the last two years recovering from his wound both physically and emotionally.
The Hazaratis are now in litigation with the CMPD in an attempt to recover the money they deserve to pay for his continuing recovery.
At the conference, Heidi Hazarti could not speak about her pending case with the police department, though other North Carolina officers discussed their own experiences with workers’ compensation and the injuries they incurred in the line of duty. For example, a Salisbury officer was struck by a car while pursuing a suspect – although he wanted to continue working, his injuries did not allow him to do so. Other officers said that they were denied monetary support through workers’ compensation but were denied because of state orders and guidelines.
Tara Stottlemyer, also of Charlotte won her case involving a back injury she received while in the line of duty, although the state of North Carolina is appealing the decision.
In the end, the officers hope that this event will expose more North Carolina residents to the state of workers’ compensation in relation to the police department and that, eventually, their voices will be heard. Until then, officers like Kayvan Hazarti will have to struggle, both financially and physically, to recover.