According to Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) records, Azar resigned in lieu of termination from the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, where he had worked as a jailer for about six months, in 2005. No further information on the incident was provided, and the sheriff’s office told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution more detail on the resignation would be available next week.
Afterward, Azar worked for East Point police for about seven years and Kennesaw State University police for about a year and half before being hired by Chamblee police in 2017, POST records show.
In April 2019, Azar responded to a traffic incident involving a woman and an undercover Sandy Springs police narcotics officer, according to Azar’s lawsuit. Azar said it’s department policy to turn off body cameras when interacting with undercover officers.
He cited the woman for a traffic citation, and she filed a complaint with the city about three months later, claiming Azar was rude to her, according to Azar’s lawsuit. Chamblee police investigators determined Azar turned his body camera off intermittently and made inconsistent statements during internal interviews, leading to his termination on Aug. 3, 2019.
The complaint said “several Black similarly situated police officers have engaged in similar or more serious violations of applicable policies and procedures and were not terminated or were otherwise treated more favorably than (Azar).”
The lawsuit names three Black police officers who were not fired for violating body camera policy, instead receiving punishments varying from a written warning to an 80-hour suspension. Azar filed a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, but the EEOC closed the complaint without making a determination.
He’s requesting a jury trial and to be reinstated as a police officer in addition to compensatory damages.
— AJC data specialist Jennifer Peebles contributed to this article.