SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – One of two Savannah Police officers fired for their conduct during an arrest last year has filed a federal lawsuit against Chief Roy Minter and the city of Savannah.
Daniel Kang says the chief violated his right to due process and fired him as retaliation for filing complaints about staffing and equipment in the department.
In addition, the suit claims Minter told him in his disciplinary hearing that he could “fire Kang for anything he wanted.” It also claims the chief has bragged about firing him and former Sgt. Octavio “Mike” Arango after a “use of force” complaint against them back in April of 2019.
Kang and Arango were fired from the Savannah Police Department back in August.
The pair was let go for allegedly using excessive force and foul language during an SIS Warrant Squad sweep at the Moss Pointe Apartments.
In the suit, Kang says the squad had reason to think Khalil Kelly, a dangerous suspect, was inside the apartment.
While it turned out Kelly was not there, the man they eventually arrested, Darryl Faitele, was belligerent and cussed at the officers “at least 200 times” while in custody.
“The only thing did that was unprofessional that day is he cussed Mr. Faitele out,” the document reads. “He regretted doing that, and he took full responsibility for acting that way. This, however, is not a dismissable offense.”
A firing, Kang writes in the suit, was in direct retaliation for being one of the first names to sign on to a human resources complaint against the chief. One of those complaints claimed the SIS Warrant Squad did not have enough Personal Protective Equipment during COVID-19.
The suit also says the City has not complied with the Open Records Act by withholding some of the personnel files and evidence he wanted in the case.
Kang is asking for monetary damages and to be allowed to resign in “good standing,” so he can continue to work as a police officer for another department.
A grand jury did “not” indict Kang on any criminal charges.
Arango is facing a hearing on two criminal charges in connection with the case.