Thursday, January 14, 2010

Federal Judge Finds NYC Discriminated Against African-American Fire Department Applicants

The New York Times reported this morning that a federal judge ruled on Wednesday that New York City intentionally discriminated against black applicants to the Fire Department by continuing to use an exam that it had been told put them at a disadvantage. According to Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York (in Brooklyn), it was not a “one-time mistake or the product of benign neglect....It was a part of a pattern, practice and policy of intentional discrimination against black applicants that has deep historical antecedents and uniquely disabling effects.” The Court did not rule on what remedy should apply, reserving judgment on that issue for a later date. In his Judge Garaufis highlighted in his decision how “black and other minority firefighters have been severely underrepresented,” characterizing that as a “persistent stain on the Fire Department’s record.” [For more information on this issue, please see]