Black policemen in the District of Columbia are not afforded an equal opportunity to advance into key decision-making positions in the department, an investigator for the D.C. Office of Human rights has concluded.
A lack of high-ranking black officials is the result of "past discriminatory practices" and the department needs to exert "concerted affirmative action" to correct the situation, according to the investigator, Lycurcus Hill.
His report stems from a complaint by Goldie Johnson, head of the predominantly black D.C. Police Wives Association, and a candidate for an at large City Council seat. She had alleged that discrimination prevents blacks from advancing into key positions.
Hill's report showed that there are seven blacks out of 30 officers in the ranks inspector and above, none of whom head some of the key divisions in the department, and some of whom have lesser positions than whites of equal rank with less seniority.
Chief of Police Burtell M. Jefferson, who is black, has said he will not tolerate discrimination and will take steps to end it when he learns of it. He recently promoted a lieutenant and a captain, both blacks, into key policy-making divisions that traditionally have been dominated by whites.
Hill's report now goes to superiors in the Office of Human Rights for further consideration.