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Man rejected twice from CPD academy may finally be able to join the force

Because the state law preventing Majid Mustafa from rejoining the police academy has been amended to give trainees a second chance, his attorney and the city have decided to wait to hear his case until the amendment takes effect.

Majid Mustafa
Majid Mustafa
Rich Hein/Sun-Times

A Rogers Park man who was rejected twice in trying to become a Chicago Police officer may get another chance to serve and protect after all.

Before a scheduled appeal hearing on the police department’s decision, Majid Mustafa’s attorney and city representatives agreed Monday to postpone the matter until after Jan. 1, when an amendment to the Police Training Act goes into effect.

The city had previously used the section of the Police Training Act, which mandates that anyone who starts police training must finish it within a set timeframe, as the basis for Mustafa’s dismissal, Mustafa’s attorney Tom Needham said. Under the amendment, applicants will be granted a second chance.

Anne Yonover, a lawyer representing the city, said the reasons for Mustafa’s disqualification will be invalid after the New Year.

The new hearing on the Mustafa’s appeal was scheduled for Jan. 6.

Mustafa is expecting a positive outcome and is hoping he’ll be one step closer to getting his “life back on track.”

Once the new amendment is in place, Mustafa said, CPD will “have no reason not to hire me back.”

Mustafa, 37, was fired from the police academy in 2013 after he failed the firearms shooting test due to an injury to his left thumb during a training drill at the academy. Doctors ordered Mustafa to wear a splint, but he took it off when staff told him it wasn’t allowed, Needham said.

Mustafa’s thumb had started to heal, but the injury was aggravated when his class was ordered to do extra pushups as punishment for several of his classmates failing the test, Needham said. Mustafa’s injury left him unable to shoot accurately, and he failed the firearms shooting test at the end of training.

Three days before graduation, the city fired Mustafa from the academy, Needham said.

Mustafa applied to the police academy again in 2017. But he was rejected when a background check found he had previously been terminated from the training academy, Needham said.

Mustafa filed an appeal with the city’s Human Resources Board in May 2018.

Mustafa, who owns and manages JK Kabab House, at 6412 N. Rockwell St., said he hopes that after his hearing next year, he’ll be able to complete his training and eventually be out on the streets by April or May.

“I mean, three days away from graduation, it’s just sad all around — so close to achieving something,” he said. “But here I am six years later, still trying to go for the same job. There’s some passion out there.”