Seven Dallas police officers sued the city yesterday, saying they were denied promotions and discriminated against in the disciplinary process because they were white or did not speak Spanish, says the Dallas Morning News. Some officers say they were passed over for minority candidates who had less experience, were on probation, or hadn’t applied for an open position. The lawsuit seeks at least $1 million in damages for each officer. “We just believe that there has been a widespread use of race as the determining factor on promotions and transfers,” said Rhonda Cates, the officers’ attorney.
In internal memos, several lieutenants said commanders had overridden policy to place certain officers in coveted investigative positions. Leaders of the department’s minority associations said that the complaints are absurd and that there were probably other reasons the officers weren’t selected. “As the face of the department continues to change, minority officers will continue to be attacked in some sort or fashion,” said George Aranda, Latino Peace Officers Association president. Sgt. Malik Aziz, president of the Texas Peace Officers Association, said, “It’s been common for white males in the department to allege racism or discriminatory practices given that they don’t believe that any other black or Hispanic could be just as qualified or more qualified than them for a job.”