On July 11, 2007, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a lawsuit under Title VII, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq., against the City of Indianapolis in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana. The DOJ sought injunctive relief, alleging that the defendant violated Title VII by discriminating against employees on the basis of race (white) and sex (male).
The defendant city maintains a police department, the Metropolitan Law Enforcement Agency aka the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD), and is responsible for establishing the terms, conditions, and other practices which bear upon the employment and promotion of police officers in the IMPD.
The defendant city maintained competitive promotions processes by which applicants for promotion and appointment to the merit ranks of Sergeant and Lieutenant in the IMPD are screened, ranked, and selected.
The allegations listed in the complaint are separated into two sections. In the first, the DOJ alleged that the defendant discriminated against a number of white males on the basis of race and/or sex by failing or refusing to promote or timely promote such individuals to the merit rank of Sergeant, instead promoting other lower ranking black and/or female candidates to this position. The second section contains allegations of discrimination on the basis of sex (male), which took the form of failing or refusing to promote or timely promote such individuals to the merit rank of Lieutenant, and instead promoting lower ranking female candidates.
On July 31, 2007, the court granted the parties' joint motion to consolidate, and ordered that the case be consolidated with Lawrence Wheeler v. City of Indianapolis (1:05-CV-1220-LJM-JMS) and United States v. City of Indianapolis (1:78-CV-388-RLY-WTL) and the case proceeded under the number 1:78-CV-388-RLY-WTL.
Following the consolidation, an Intervenor Complaint was filed on October 22, 2007. The complaint makes factual allegations regarding the discrimination on the basis of sex and race, and claims that the plaintiff-intervenors have been damaged through the loss of pay, reputation, professional opportunities and experience, collegiality with fellow officers, and consortium with family members, and have suffered stress and emotional distress. The plaintiff-intervenors sought remedial relief, including back pay, front pay, injunctive relief, attorney's fees, and compensatory and punitive damages. A motion to amend the Intervenor's Complaint was filed on October 24, 2007, which included the charge of violation of the First Amendment.
The parties then entered into settlement negotiations and filed a joint motion to enter a consent decree. on August 22, 2008. The Court (Judge David Frank Hamilton) provisionally entered the decree on August 28, 2008. The decree contains two general injunctions: 1) the City was enjoined from engaging in acts or practice of racial or gender discrimination with respect to promotions within the Police Department; 2) prohibition on retaliation. The decree also provided individual relief to various employees of the Police Department, who were denied promotion because of their race or gender. The decree contained several uncontested allegations, whereas female or minority police officers were promoted instead of higher ranked male or white applicants. Those individuals received promotions, retroactive seniority, and varying payments as backpay and frontpay. The City agreed to keep records and submit reports to the United States. The latter had a right to monitor compliance. The decree was to dissolve within two years, or within ninety days of certification of full compliance.
The decree was subject to a fairness hearing. The Court received objections from NAACP, alleging that the proposed consent decree would have a disparate impact on African Americans. On February 12, 2009, the Court entered the consent decree which was slightly modified, such as allowing the City to continue to lawfully pursue diversity within its employees.
On November 29, 2009, the case was reassigned to Judge Sarah Evan Baker. On February 19, 2010, the parties filed a joint status report, stating that they propose no modifications to the decree, and that the city was in compliance with its reporting obligations and continues to improve its selection policies.
On February 23, 2010, the case was administratively closed by the Court, subject to the Court's ongoing jurisdiction to enforce the consent decree.Jennifer Hau - 11/27/2007
Zhandos Kuderin - 07/16/2014