Seventeen white men from the Milwaukee Police Department won a discrimination lawsuit against former Chief Arthur Jones and the City of Milwaukee yesterday. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says the federal jury verdict could cost the city millions and force immediate promotions to captain for the 13 plaintiffs who are still lieutenants. In a three-week trial, they claimed Jones discriminated by repeatedly promoting women and other minorities to captain ahead of better-qualified white men. The city countered that Milwaukee’s chiefs have long used substantial discretion in appointing captains and that 21 of the 41 captains Jones named were white men.
The trial will start again Monday to decide what damages the men will get. Jones called the verdict “a blow to diversification, and I think that’s very important to a municipal police department, especially here in Milwaukee.” Jones defended his record. “I think the numbers speak for themselves,” he said. “I don’t see where any discrimination against white males took place.”