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Finch v. Peterson, 09-2676

By FindLaw Staff on September 10, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Finch v. Peterson, 09-2676, involved three white police lieutenants' suit alleging that the City of Indianapolis and its law enforcement Merit Board violated Title VII by subjecting them to reverse discrimination, and that seven individual city officials who were involved in making these employment decisions violated section 1981 and section 1983 by denying them a promotion to captain solely on the basis of their race.


In affirming a magistrate judge's denial of defendants' motion for judgment on the pleadings, the court held that the 1978 consent decree entered into by the Indianapolis Police Department and the United States Department of Justice does not operate to confer qualified immunity on the city officials who were involved in making the challenged promotions because nothing in the decree required them to take race into consideration in making promotions.  Rather, specific language in the decree required promotions within the police department to be made without regard to race or color.

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