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San Francisco Police Department Reverse Discrimination Lawsuit Settled for $1.6 Million

In 2003 twelve San Francisco Police Officers sued the Police Department alleging that black officers were being favored for promotions to lieutenant. While the city admitted no wrongdoing, a settlement was reached 2 years ago. The settlement was delayed by the City’s approval process and decisions about how to split the proceeds among the plaintiffs.

From 1999 to 2003 thirty-nine lieutenant promotions were made after testing. The suit claimed that 5 black officers were promoted to lieutenant while better qualified officers had been passed over.

SFPDcar.jpgLawyers for the plaintiffs – nine white officers, two Latinos and an Asian American – claimed that such results were statistically impossible without preferential treatment.

San Francisco Police officials have said that race was not a factor in the questioned promotions, all of which were made under acting Chief Alex Fagan who is no longer with the department.

After attorneys fees, one officer will receive $200,000, eight will receive $100,000 each and three will receive $50,000 each.

Alexis Thompson, spokeswoman for City Attorney Dennis Herrera said “This settlement puts to rest old challenges to a series of old promotions under an old administration.”

This case in not unique. In Jacksonville Florida four lieutenants in the Fire Department claimed their promotions to Captain were blocked by Fire Chief Ray Alfred. A jury sided with the firefighters and awarded $220,000.

Last year, New Orleans District Attorney Eddie Jordan resigned after a judge found his office liable for $3.7 Million in a reverse discrimination lawsuit. Jordan was accused of firing 35 white employees and hiring black employees to replace them.

Reverse discrimination is discrimination, and discrimination is illegal and wrong. If you have questions related to any form of discrimination, feel free to contact me personally at 818-461-8500. There is never a charge for an initial consultation.