A Denver landlord who was caught on an audio recording saying she would not rent to Muslims has agreed to pay $675,000 to settle a case brought against her, Yahoo News is reporting.
Katina Gatchis will pay the settlement to Rashad and Zuned Khan, two Indian Muslim men who were denied the chance to rent retail space from her because of their faith.
As reported at the time by The Inquisitr, back in June 2018 Gatchis was caught on an audio recording saying she would not rent to Muslims because they’re “dangerous.”
The recording came about because one of Gatchis’ tenants, Craig Caldwell, had been leasing retail space from Gatchis when he decided to close the restaurant he had in the space he’d been renting. However, because he’d signed a multi-year lease, he was still on the hook for the rent unless he could find someone to sublet the space. Meanwhile, the Khans were interested in opening up a “fast casual” Indian restaurant, and Caldwell thought he’d found the perfect opportunity.
However, when he approached Gatchis to discuss his plan, he was turned down because, as Caldwell claims, Gatchis didn’t want Muslim tenants.
“American person, I need, good like you and me.”
Caldwell was so stunned by what his landlord told him that he decided to bring the subject up with her again, this time with his cell phone surreptitiously turned on to record her. Speaking when she was being recorded, Gatchis’ tune didn’t change.
“They bring all the Muslims from the Middle East and then I have a problem around here. Bomb, boom. Bomb, boom. This kind type, they are very dangerous, extremely dangerous.”
Caldwell then filed a lawsuit in Colorado District Court in Denver alleging that Gatchis’ denial of the subletting opportunity to the Khans on the basis of their religion is unconstitutional.
By April 2019, the case had reached the point where a jury was going to be selected the next day. However, at the 11th hour both sides reached an agreement.
Zuned Khan says that justice has been served.
“My dad and I just wanted to know that there’s justice, that she can’t do this.”
Gatchis, for her part, has refused to comment publicly on the case, as have her attorneys.
Denver attorney Qusair Mohamedbhai, who represented Caldwell and the Khans, said that the settlement should send a message.
“Businesses in Colorado and across the country should know that these laws are on the books, they are highly enforceable, and that if they will discriminate, people will stand up against them and tell them it is wrong.”