Najee Rivera, whose beating at the hands of two police officers caught on tape led to criminal charges against them, is now seeking the public’s help online: he wants his job back, he says.
A Change.org petition started by Rivera asking Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) to re-hire him passed its goal of 50,000 signatures Sunday, and the goal was expanded to 75,000 signatures.
Rivera was beaten on May 29, 2013 by officers Kevin Robinson and Sean McKnight after he fled on his scooter when officers tried to arrest him. The attack, caught on tape, left Rivera with orbital fractures and numerous head and face lacerations.
But Rivera still went to CHOP that day because he did not want to lose his new job. He was told to take time off until he recovered and stayed home for three days. He was later dismissed for missing those three days, he claims.
“When I got hired at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia I felt I had finally made it. Not only did it pay twice as much as any job I ever had, I was finally doing a job I could take pride in. It was a job that would allow me to take care of my newborn daughter,” Rivera writes on the petition. “Please join me in asking Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia to let me return to my job.”
CHOP did not respond to a request for comment.
The Inquirer previously reported on how Rivera lost his job and said CHOP would not comment on personnel matters.
Rivera could not be reached directly to discuss the petition.
Robinson and McKnight were indicted for Rivera’s beating in February 2015 after a grand jury investigation and are scheduled for a preliminary hearing on aggravated assault charges on April 6.