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San Jose Police Lieutenant Sues Department, City

San Jose Mercury News via YellowBrix

December 17, 2009

SAN JOSE, CA – An African-American San Jose police officer who says he was repeatedly passed over for a promotion because of racial discrimination has filed a lawsuit in federal court against the Police Department, the city and Chief Rob Davis.

Glenn Harper, 48, contends that he was passed over for promotion to lieutenant for less-experienced, lower-ranked nonblack candidates by Davis, according to court documents. Harper, a 24-year San Jose Police Department veteran, also contends he has experienced ongoing retaliation from police officials after filing a complaint of race discrimination with the state Department of Fair Employment and Housing in 2005.

Harper, who has taken the lieutenant’s promotional examination every other year since 2002, was promoted in February.

“The city has investigated and found no discrimination,” San Jose City Attorney Richard Doyle said. “We take lawsuits seriously, and certainly we’re going to review it and go through the process of discovery and handle it accordingly.”

Davis could not immediately be reached for comment. Police spokesman Jermaine Thomas said the department was referring all calls to the city attorney.

Harper’s attorney, Thomas Bourke, did not return a phone call seeking comment.

San Jose’s police chief has some discretion in deciding which candidates to promote, though he must follow a long-standing set of guidelines, Doyle said.

To be promoted, officers take a promotional Advertisement examination that includes a 125-question written exam and oral boards, according to Sgt. Bobby Lopez, president of the San Jose Police Officers’ Association. Candidates are then ranked based on test results and seniority, Lopez said.

As positions open, the chief is allowed to choose from a group of the highest-ranked individuals, known as the “Rule of 10,” Lopez said. For example, if there are three openings for lieutenant, the chief will be allowed to choose from the 13 highest-ranked candidates, all of whom are interviewed by a member of the command staff, Lopez said.


-6
  • Car6_max50

    Ahi

    over 4 years ago

    1990 Comments

    seems like there are only going to be problems with this situation from here on out.

  • Joefriday_max50

    alexy

    over 4 years ago

    3970 Comments

    Play that card.

  • Divas_missy_tina_max50

    tamra

    over 4 years ago

    944 Comments

    24 year veteran in one of the most diverse police departments in the country and he's claiming racial bias? if he was there for 24 years, he should definitely know of Chief Covarrubias as well as other minority commanders.

    which makes me ask, what happened here? or assume there's more to this. there have been cops there who have never been promoted from original rank, but their performance and integrity were issues.

    either way, something's not adding up, as in exact reasons for not being promoted earlier are unknown. passing a test doesn't mean auto promotion in many cases. personalities, interactions w/others all matter esp for positions of leadership.

  • 1979_max50

    Robocop33

    over 4 years ago

    14642 Comments

    Hey guys, the written test alone should ne be the sole factor in promotions. I have known a number of people who can ace tests, (or score very high), that wouldn't make a good FTO, much less a supervisor.

  • 1979_max50

    Robocop33

    over 4 years ago

    14642 Comments

    What BS! The man has already been promoted and THEN he files a lawsuit contending that he should have been promoted sooner? Well excuse the hell out of me Lt. Harper! Sounds like they should not have promoted you that last time to me. Stop using the colour of your skin as a crutch.

  • Badge__hat_max50

    Baxter2

    over 4 years ago

    1846 Comments

    Man, if every officer sued the department everytime he or she didn't get promoted, you'd have to set up a whole new branch of the court system to deal with those cases. It happens to everybody during his or her career. Get over it and get back to work.

  • Ba_old_glory_max50

    Jonas

    over 4 years ago

    43868 Comments

    No comment!

  • Police_link_badge_max50

    HEYSARGE

    over 4 years ago

    16726 Comments

    Sounds like there might be some legal issues......Also maybe the new Lt. might not be doing well during his probation as a LT. and though perhaps he would file a lawsuit on some old issues believing the department wouldn't fire or demote him if he didn't make probation..Hmmmm

  • Spartan_cops_max50

    Lawful_Blue

    over 4 years ago

    1184 Comments

    Not worth a comment..........

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    over 4 years ago

    I'm not to sure about this one...seems like a lot of bickering back and forth between a chief and a person that thinks he deserves a promotion (that he ultimately got).

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    over 4 years ago

    If he has proof, after the written score and oral board, that his scores were higher than others chosen, great lawsuit and hope he wins. But if the others had highers scores, shut up and quit playing the race card. This should be plain and simple to sort out.

  • Uni1_max50

    Deli734

    over 4 years ago

    410 Comments

    He's back and he stepped on someones toes...the end.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    over 4 years ago

    No comment.

  • Untitledma28839986-0002_max50

    Irishcop1961

    over 4 years ago

    51110 Comments

    No comment.

  • Washington_max50

    WASP7000

    over 4 years ago

    998 Comments

    Very strange about them skipping over candidates on a ranked list. That being said, I doubt it was because of race, unless of course all the other officers they skipped were black as well. But that would look pretty suspect, would it not? Maybe that ranked list doesn't take into account the candidates oral board or something else.

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