No Temporary Injunction in New Haven Police Test Case

A hearing was held on Wednesday after a lawyer for a group of 10 African-American New Haven police officers filed a request for an injunction to prevent several Latino and other officers from receiving promotions.

There will be no temporary injunction after lawyers for the officers reached an agreement with the city.

However, the discrimination case will still move forward.

The 10 officers and others passed a test to be promoted to sergeant in 2009 and the group of police officers suing claim they were passed over for promotion because of their race.

After the injunction was filed, the city agreed to take no actions on promotions until the hearing was held.

"The test was submitted to the New Haven Civil Service Commission for certification. They looked at it, and right then on the record in public, they started talking about 'hey there's no Latinos on the list. There's something wrong with that,'" said attorney John Williams, who is representing the group of ten officers.

According to Williams, the city only held the results of the test for one year instead of the normal two. That means the officers who passed were only eligible for promotions one year after the test.

"You make promotions as openings or vacancies occur, and so obviously in that second year there would be, and in fact were, vacancies that would have been filled with my clients but the fact they killed the list," said Williams.

The City of New Haven said it planned on fighting the court action.

"Hiring and promotional decisions at the New Haven Police Department are done in accordance with the law and based on the broad public safety interests of all of the City's residents, rather than the limited interests of a few individuals," New Haven Corporation Counsel Victor Bolden previously said.

Williams has said his case is eerily similar to the Ricci vs. New Haven case where 20 white firefighters sued New Haven and won in the U.S. Supreme Court because the city threw out the results of a promotions exam that city leaders felt wasn't fair to African-American firefighters.

"I think this is the same as the Ricci case, exactly the same," said Williams.

The hearing was held in New Haven Superior Court.

Contact Us