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."

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