There is something strange about the Boston Police Department. The city is about 24 percent black, according to the 2010 census, but of the 51 lieutenants on the force, just two are black men. Of 23 captains, the only black man retired yesterday.
In 2008, dozens of police officers filed a federal lawsuit claiming that the state exam used to promote officers to sergeant was discriminatory. On Tuesday, nine black Boston police supervisors filed another federal lawsuit claiming that the city's lieutenant examination was discriminatory too.