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Black Boston Officers File Discrimination Suit

February 15, 2012  | 

Nine black Boston police supervisors failed to advance in the department because of a discriminatory exam, according to a federal lawsuit filed yesterday that underscores the long-running tension between minority officers and department commanders.

The supervisors are suing the city, demanding that it scrap the multiple-choice lieutenant's test. Black and Latino officers historically fare worse on the exams—which rely on rote memorization—than white and Asian candidates, reports the Boston Globe.

"The impetus for this [complaint] is the striking, shocking lack of minority police lieutenants," said Harold Lichten, the lawyer for the officers. "The statistics are just horrible."


Comments (7)

Displaying 1 - 7 of 7

BC1 @ 2/15/2012 8:02 PM

"The impetus for this [complaint] is the striking, shocking lack of minority police lieutenants,"

Black and Latino officers historically fare worse on the exams—which rely on rote memorization—than white and Asian candidates, reports the Boston Globe.

Last I checked, Asians were a minority.

Marshal @ 2/16/2012 11:03 AM

I am sorry I had to look up what Rote Memorization is. Reading the definition of Rote it seems that it is a valid tool. Knowing that this is the way the test is set up, wouldn't studying for it be the way to go? Let me say this, I am against any type of discrimination. Is that type of memorization a good tool that a supervisor should have? What type of test should be used that is fair?

bpd3733 @ 2/16/2012 3:58 PM

Why a written test at all? The Marine Corps always handled promotion by having us appear before a board of 4 or 5 members to evaluate experience and performance. You were asked a series of questions to eliminate those who were truly ready from those who were simply good at faking expertise.

Frank @ 2/16/2012 5:57 PM

No not at the BPD. The city that is an equal opportunity city according to the Mayor. This is from the same city that has Mayor Menino who blames all the inner city shooting on illegal guns from other states and the lack of gun laws in the Commonwealth. Actually the only person who has his head screwed on correctly is Chief Davis.

Jason Barnes @ 2/16/2012 6:54 PM

There are two possible explanations for the black officers' horrible performance on an objective test which requires effort and study beforehand.
Explanation 1: They are dumber than the other test-takers; OR
Explanation 2: They don't study as much
-- take your choice

Dustin @ 2/16/2012 7:02 PM

Really? Lame. Study, pass it an be proud of your achievements. Asians are minorities too!

Lbc @ 2/17/2012 9:21 AM

Under this way of thinking, Whites who were never hired in the first place due to their inability to pass a physical fitness test have a descrimination suit. After all, Blacks are typically more athletic than Whites.

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