The DOJ claimed that a written test given to recruits was intentionally biased against Black applicants.
The Baltimore County Police Department has reached a $2 million dollar settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice as part of a discrimination lawsuit against Black American applicants.
theGRIO previously reported, the DOJ sued the Baltimore County government last August claiming that a written test given to police recruits was intentionally biased against Black applicants, according to the Baltimore Sun.
The agency believes the ploy worked because Blacks failed the test at a much greater rate than white counterparts, resulting in fewer Black police officers making it into the force. The lawsuit noted that the difference was “statistically significant.”
The suit alleged that applicants were tested on “reading, grammar, logic and other skills’ not related to the job of a Baltimore police officer or cadet, the report states.
The lawsuit accused the Baltimore County Police Department of a “pattern or practice of discrimination” against Black applicants and demanded that the county “make remedial relief to those who suffered discrimination and adopt appropriate nondiscriminatory measures to correct the discrimination.”
Julian Jones, the lone Black person on the Baltimore County Council, said last year that he was “taken aback” by the allegations, telling the Baltimore Sun, “I’m confident that the current administration is going to do any and everything necessary to make sure we’re not discriminating against people.”
Under the settlement, Baltimore County must pay $2 million in back pay to eligible claimants, and make 20 priority hires of individuals who previously failed the written exam.
“Our Police Department should look like the communities it serves and, even prior to this lawsuit, I joined Chief Hyatt to begin efforts that increase the diversity of our police force,” Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski said in a news release. “This settlement will help hold Baltimore County accountable as we continue working toward that critical goal — while also helping to further ensure our Police Department can best serve all of Baltimore County’s residents.”
As part of the settlement agreement, Baltimore County must also ditch the allegedly unlawful written examinations.
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