446 F.Supp. 979 (E.D.Mich. 1978), Civ. A. 74-71838, Detroit Police Officers Ass'n v. Young

Docket Nº:Civ. A. 74-71838
Citation:446 F.Supp. 979
Party Name:Detroit Police Officers Ass'n v. Young
Case Date:February 27, 1978
Court:United States District Courts, 6th Circuit
 
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446 F.Supp. 979 (E.D.Mich. 1978)

DETROIT POLICE OFFICERS ASSOCIATION, a Voluntary Mutual Benefit Association, Labor Organization, Plaintiff,

v.

Coleman A. YOUNG, Mayor of the City of Detroit, Philip G. Tannian, Chief of Police of the Detroit Police Department, Avern Cohn, Susan Cooper, Charles Butler, Edward Littlejohn and Alexander Ritchie, Members of the Board of Police Commissioners and the City of Detroit, a Municipal Corporation, Defendants.

William MORGAN, Brian Brunett, and Donald Prince, Individually and as Representatives of a Class, Plaintiffs,

v.

Coleman A. YOUNG, Mayor of the City of Detroit, Philip G. Tannian, Chief of Police of the Detroit Police Department, Avern Cohn, Susan Cooper, Charles Butler, Edward Littlejohn and Alexander Ritchie, Members of the Board of Police Commissioners and the City of Detroit, a Municipal Corporation, Defendants.

Civ. A. Nos. 74-71838, 75-71376.

United States District Court, D. Michigan

Feb. 27, 1978

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Walter S. Nussbaum and Sheldon H. Adler, Nussbaum, McEvoy & Adler, Southfield, Mich., for Detroit Police Officers Ass'n.

John F. Brady and Jane K. Souris, Riley & Roumell, Detroit, Mich., for plaintiffs.

James R. Andary and Elliot S. Hall, Hall & Andary, Detroit, Mich., for defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

KAESS, District Judge.

The above entitled actions arise out of separate civil rights complaints alleging discriminatory promotional practices on the part of the City of Detroit and other named individual defendants. The complaints and amendments in both actions charge defendants

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with violations of 42 U.S.C. ss 1981, 1983, 1985(3), 2000d et seq., 2000e et seq., the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution, Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution of the State of Michigan and various state civil rights statutes. Specifically, plaintiffs allege that the promotional practices within the Detroit Police Department resulted in white male police officers being intentionally passed over for promotion to the rank of Sergeant solely because of their race.

On November 18, 1976, the Court certified, pursuant to Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the individual plaintiffs' suit as a class action. 1 Thereafter, on March 29, 1977, the Court entered an Order consolidating the above entitled cases for trial. 2

A preliminary injunction was issued on May 27, 1977, enjoining defendants herein from making further promotions to the rank of Sergeant in accordance with the affirmative action program of the Detroit Police Department. The injunction required all further promotions to be made in strict numerical ranking as established by the current sergeants promotional register. On June 23, 1977, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit entered an Order dissolving the preliminary injunction and remanded the cause for a prompt hearing and determination on the merits.

Upon remand the Court, pursuant to Rule 42(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, entered an Order bifurcating trial on the issues of liability and damages. Trial of the consolidated actions on the issue of liability began on August 8, 1977, and concluded on December 22, 1977. All parties have rested and final arguments have been made and received.

The following constitutes the Court's Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law as required by Rule 52(a), Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

FINDINGS OF FACT

The Disputed Promotions

On November 1, 1973, notice was given by the Detroit Police Department that a promotional examination for the rank of Sergeant would be given. The notice provided eligibility requirements and stated, inter alia, that eligible candidates would be permitted to write the examination and receive their "merited" position on the promotional register. 3 The notice also provided that officers would be selected to attend Officer Candidate School in descending order according to their position on the eligible register.

On December 16, 1973, the written examination for promotion to the rank of Sergeant was administered to eligible police officers of the City of Detroit by the Detroit Police Department. On April 9, 1974, a list of applicants eligible for the position of Sergeant, arranged in descending order of their total composite score, after application of the promotional model, 4 was caused to be prepared and resulted in Personnel Order 74-108. The order provided that applicants for promotion will be promoted in the order that they appear on the eligibility register provided they are in compliance with specified college requirements or seniority requirements. Thus, if an applicant had not met the college or seniority requirements prior to graduation from Officer Candidate School he would be passed over

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for promotion. Likewise, if an officer selected from the eligibility register did not successfully complete Officer Candidate School, he too would be passed over as successful completion was a prerequisite to confirmation to the rank of Sergeant. The names of 298 officers appeared on the eligibility register.

On May 9, 1974, Police Commissioner Philip Tannian authorized the first set of promotions to be made from eligibility register 74-108. These promotions, totalling thirty (30), were made in strict descending numerical order and were racially composed of twenty-nine (29) caucasians and one (1) non-caucasian. Subsequently, on June 7, 1974, Personnel Order 74-108 was amended and the eligibility register for Sergeant was extended by the addition of 77 police officers, numbers 299-375, inclusive. The names of these eligible officers were again arranged in descending order according to their weighted composite scores after application of the promotional model. The amendment provided that promotions from the eligibility register will be made in accordance with the provisions of the new City Charter. 5 It was also on this date that Commissioner Tannian rescinded a prior order which stated that promotional candidates will be selected to attend Officer Candidate School in the order of their position on the eligibility register, starting at the top of the list.

Thereafter, on August 1, 1974, a second set of promotions to the rank of Sergeant was made from eligibility register 74-108. These promotions, again totalling thirty (30), were not made in strict numerical order as the names appeared on the April, 1974 eligibility register but instead involved passing over approximately 200 white officers with higher composite scores and standing on the eligibility register. Of the thirty (30) promotions, twenty-five (25) went to male officers and five (5) were bestowed upon females. All twenty-five (25) officers promoted were black and ranged in numerical rank on the eligibility register from # 36 to # 264.

The third set of promotions to the rank of Sergeant from the eligibility register, and its extension, were made on October 11, 1974. Of the thirty-three (33) promotions, four (4) were received by females, fifteen (15) were awarded to white males and fourteen (14) were awarded to black males. Excluding the female promotions from consideration, the white male promotions were made in strict numerical order according to their respective positions on the eligibility register. While the black male promotions were apparently made in the same manner this process required selection of every remaining black male on the eligibility register and its extension. There was, in actuality, two lists, one for white males and one for black males. The positions of the black male officers promoted ranged from # 276 to # 375, the last number on the list, and required the passing over of every remaining white male.

The 1974 eligibility register was amended for a second time on January 6, 1975, extending the eligibility register for the rank of Sergeant to include an additional 125 police officers. These officers ranked # 376 to # 500, inclusive. The personnel order provides the alleged purpose for the extension stating, in part, as follows:

"In order to provide the department with additional Sergeants and to comply with the affirmative action resolution as adopted by the Board of Police Commissioners on July 31, 1974, it is necessary to extend the eligibility register for the rank of Sergeant.

The register has been extended to the position 500 to insure that a sufficient number of officers are available for promotion prior to the publishing of a new eligibility register. " (Exhibit 6)

The true reason why the eligibility register was extended was to have more black male officers available for promotion since the prior promotions had exhausted all eligible black male candidates. It was not to insure the department that there would be "sufficient" officers available. The only

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purpose of the extension was to insure the department that there would be sufficient black male officers available. 6 This fact is evidenced by the exhibit itself as only black males were promoted from the extension.

Promotions were again made from the 1974 eligibility register and its extensions on February 12, 1975. Of the twenty (20) promotees, four (4) were females, eight (8) were black males and eight (8) were white males. The male promotions were made by selecting the eight (8) highest ranking black and white officers on the original register and its extensions. Naturally, all the black males were positioned on the second extension. The white males promoted ranged from # 49 to # 57 on the eligibility register while their black counterparts ranged from...

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