Toronto Police Const. Firouzeh “Effy” Zarabi-Majd calls herself a victim of sexual harassment by fellow officers, a whistleblower who used Twitter to rail against the boys in blue. Her bosses call her insubordinate with a vendetta to bring down the service — and they want her gone.
Until her Dirty Shades of Blue Twitter account was suspended, Zarabi-Majd, 41, took a scorched-earth approach to her superiors and colleagues, posting more than 20,000 tweets — many dripping with angry allegations of sexism, racism and bullying.
She posted screen shots of male police group chats demeaning women and people of colour and even targeted former chief James Ramer: “You are a sexual predator enabling coward james. You are a thug. You are a woman abuser. You are a coward. You are a disgrace.”
Found guilty in December of four counts of insubordination and four of discreditable conduct under the Police Act by retired South Simcoe deputy chief Robin McElary-Downer, Zarabi-Majd was once again a no-show Thursday at the disciplinary tribunal as the prosecutor urged the hearing officer to recommend she be fired.
“She is not fit to be a TPS police officer,” insisted Noah Schachter. “This officer cannot be trusted to follow any order in the future given her multiple counts of insubordination that she’s been found guilty of.”
Each time she was called in to Professional Affairs and then before the disciplinary tribunal, Zarabi-Majd has refused to appear, insisting she was suffering from PTSD — she’s been on medical leave since 2018 — after what she claims was relentless sexual harassment and bullying at 51 Division.
“Toronto Police professional standards forgot that being off on PTSD means I’m off & f—ing sick so you’ll have to wait for your bulls–t investigation when I return meanwhile you can investigate those rapists, racist cops who assaulted me! @TorontoPolice you are abusers,” she told her 5,000 followers after being ordered to appear at the tribunal in 2021.
“Hey @jamesramertps you serving me professional standards investigations over and over knowing I’m off sick with PTSD as a result of systemic sexual violence&systemic racism, makes it clear that you are trying to kill me! You are a dirty james & you won’t win! F–k patriarchy.”
Even after being told to stop posting about fellow TPS members or face discipline, she continued. “She was waving the proverbial middle finger at the order demonstrating intentional and utter defiance,” wrote McElary-Downer in her decision.
“Multiple persons were the target of her relentless offensive, libelous, hurtful, obscene and degrading tweets,” she continued. “Const. Zarabi-Majd’s tweets were on course to not only damage, but to destroy the reputation of the TPS as a whole, its senior members, and the Board.”
McElary-Downer was especially critical of her posts about the former chief. “I find it inconceivable that the public would not be shocked that a police officer could publicly say such harmful, libelous things to another person, let alone the most senior commanding officer in the Service.”
Zarabi-Majd’s lawyer agreed her tweets were offensive but argued they were the desperate words of a “whistleblower” suffering from PTSD who had to work in a toxic environment with no support from her superiors. “This officer was clearly pushed to her breaking point,” said Melanie Webb. “This officer was in crisis.”
In 2018, Zarabi-Majd went to the media with her human rights complaint. According to court files, she turned down a 2019 settlement offer from TPS that would have paid her a $400,000 lump sum plus 12 years of PTSD sick leave pay.
She was also found guilty of stalking a former colleague, also suffering from PTSD, to pressure her into testifying about alleged police racism. “Her behaviour was inexcusable,” charged Schachter. “She put a fellow PTSD sufferer through this for her own gain to continue her vendetta against TPS.”
As for her allegations of sexual harassment and bullying, he called them “simply bald assertions.” Even if true, Zarabi-Majd repeatedly refused to detail them before Professional Standards, blaming PTSD. Yet, the prosecutor argued, she was well enough to testify about her allegations in other proceedings.
Should she keep her job? The hearing officer has reserved her decision.