2 Aurora officers sued, accused of racial discrimination against a black man in a coffee shop

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AURORA, Colo. -- Two Aurora police officers face a federal lawsuit. It accuses them of racial profiling and violating one man's rights.

The ACLU claims the officers kicked a black Ethiopian man out of a coffee shop for no good or lawful reason.

The police department disputes that.

It happened March 16, 2016.

Omar Hassan said he walked into a coffee shop in Aurora for breakfast.

The lawsuit the ACLU filed on his behalf says what happened next was not just wrong but against the law.

ACLU Legal Director Mark Silverstein said they are suing the officers for racial discrimination and singling out Hassan for no reason. "In the lawsuit Omar claims he bought a muffin and sat down to eat it. That's when two female Aurora police officers approached him."

Hassan alleges they stood in front of him and placed their hands on their guns and asked him to leave. The lawsuit claims one said "your kind of business is not welcome here."

When Hassan asked why, one officer allegedly motioned her head toward the coffee shop counter and said they do.

He sued more than a year later when the department allegedly did not release details about its internal investigation.

Hassan claims he was targeted because he was a black man wearing a hoodie. "They do not have the right to make snap decisions based on someone`s appearance, based on race ... to eject people from a place of public accommodations," Silverstein said.

The ACLU says there is no surveillance video of the alleged incident, but it does have a signed affidavit from the manager working that day stating he did not ask the officer to remove Hassan.

Aurora police can't talk about the case because it will not comment on pending litigation. But it did confirm they looked into this claim and say it's not true.

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