Police officers sue San Francisco, claim they didn't get promoted because they're white
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A dozen police officers in San Francisco filed a lawsuit against the city this week claiming they did not receive promotions because they are white men, CBS San Francisco reported.

Twelve current officers claimed they were discriminated against because they were white males and passed over for promotions. The thirteenth plaintiff, a retired sergeant, argued that she wasn’t bumped up to lieutenant because she is a white lesbian.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court on Tuesday, alleges that the city currently uses “an obscure and biased promotional process” to advance certain candidates.


The process, known as banding, places all of the candidates with similar exam results into the same “band” or pool, the outlet noted. The city then selects candidates based on other factors, such as education and experience, for promotions within that group.

The plaintiffs allege this process is used to promote a higher percentage of minority and female candidates who may have scored lower on examinations.

This practice was reportedly developed in 1979 as part of a consent decree when the city settled a lawsuit with an association of black officers who sued for discrimination, CBS San Francisco noted. The decree was terminated in 1998.

John Cote, a spokesman for city attorney Dennis Herrera, defended the department’s promotional process in a statement to the outlet, calling it “lawful,” “merit-based” and “competitive.”

“This system is enshrined in the city’s charter and civil service rules,” Cote said. “It’s designed to provide qualified individuals with the chance for advancement while ensuring fair treatment without regard to race, gender, religion, age or other status. We will review this lawsuit and address it in court.”

The lawsuit seeks an injunction barring the alleged bias, compensation and punitive financial awards, the outlet noted.