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Posted: 7/16/2008 2:41:17 PM EDT

by Rick Hepp/The Star-Ledger
Tuesday July 15, 2008, 4:33 PM

Twenty-three black and Hispanic troopers filed a civil rights lawsuit today against the State Police, accusing the agency of routinely discriminating against minority troopers when it comes to promotions, training, special assignments and discipline.

Filed in state Superior Court in Middlesex County, the lawsuit alleges the State Police has ignored complaints of racial discrimination dating back as far as 1989 and has retaliated against a Hispanic trooper who continued to push for changes after being promoted to captain.

In particular, the lawsuit takes aim at the agency's promotion system, which it described as "an arbitrary, antiquated and subjective process" fraught with cronyism that has prevented 22 of the troopers from rising above the rank of sergeant even though "white, male classmates and troopers junior to them have been regularly promoted above them."

The troopers are asking a trial judge to "address the out-moded and biased nature" of the State Police by requiring the agency to establish a new promotion system and to immediately promote each of them by one rank. In addition, they are seeking punitive damages, interest, the cost of the lawsuit and attorney's fees.

Spokesmen for the State Police and Attorney General's Office declined to comment because they have not read the lawsuit.

Allegations of discrimination have plagued the State Police for years. Created in 1921, the agency did not hire its first black trooper for 40 years and its first female trooper for 54 years. It was also the target of a federal court order for its hiring practices.

From 1975 to 1992, the agency's hiring process was shaped by a consent decree with federal civil rights monitors that required it to increase minority representation to 14 percent.

In 1996, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People filed suit over the State Police's imposition of a four-year college requirement as well as its recruitment and hiring practices. That ended in an agreement allowing the NAACP to monitor the hiring process.

Then, in 1998, two white troopers shot three unarmed minority men during a traffic stop on the New Jersey Turnpike. The case sparked a national debate over racial profiling and resulted in a court decree in 1999 that established guidelines aimed at reforming everything from how a trooper conducts a traffic stop to how detectives investigate internal complaints.

The State Police attempted to implement a promotional test, but it was scrapped in 2005 after then Attorney General Peter Harvey determined the test did not accurately measure the troopers' knowledge of core regulations and operating procedures.

Court-appointed monitors who have overseen the racial profiling reforms said the State Police have transformed themselves into a national model of policing. A panel of law enforcement and civil rights experts appointed by Gov. Jon Corzine agreed with that assessment last year, and recommended Corzine seek to end the court decree.

Even so, the panel recommended the State Police bolster its hiring, promotion and disciplinary practices to make more objective and transparent.


Link Posted: 7/16/2008 2:58:25 PM EDT
They should come north.
Link Posted: 7/17/2008 1:17:15 AM EDT

The troopers are asking a trial judge to "address the out-moded and biased nature" of the State Police by requiring the agency to establish a new promotion system and to immediately promote each of them by one rank. In addition, they are seeking punitive damages, interest, the cost of the lawsuit and attorney's fees.



This sounds like T-Ball, where we don't keep score and everybody wins regardless how much they suck.

Link Posted: 7/17/2008 4:39:51 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/17/2008 4:40:24 AM EDT by TheWind]
The Col...is who Fuentes? ANd a LT Col or Major that is Hispanic just retired?
Link Posted: 7/17/2008 1:08:18 PM EDT



How much must they dumb things down? How much nonsense must(and will) they give in to? A once (arguably) elite force ruined by political correctness. Castrated by politicians and appointed 'Colonels'. If you've been following things, it obvious. Rick doesn't give fuck one about the rank and file.

3600+ Troopers. Just under 600 "minorities" this includes woman of all races (18+%). 1045 with the rank of SGT or higher. 190 of these are "minorities" (18+%).


WTF
Link Posted: 7/20/2008 11:11:56 PM EDT
i agree with the above comment......

political BS turning what was once the nations most elite police force into a department that hires based on " random selection" and not the people who scored the highest on the written and physical test like it used to be
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 12:05:20 AM EDT
I dont know if i should really share this but, a friend (more like acquaintance) of mine applied for NJSP and got to the physical training/boot camp part and was told he had the wrong color skin for the job; i guess they needed to hire more minorities that go around. Long story short he dropped and started his own business, no loss on his part!
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