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US Court finds New York Fire Department guilty of racial discrimination

New York, Sun, 02 Oct 2011 ANI

New York, Oct 2 (ANI): A US Court has ruled that Fire Department of New York (FSNY) discriminated against minorities in its recruitment procedure, applicant screening and probing discrimination complaints.


The ruling came after a three-week civil trial in Brooklyn Federal Court, which found that the FDNY has 93 percent white employees largely due to "an informal friends-and-family recruitment network," New York Daily News reports.


"The underrepresentation of black firefighters in the FDNY - a direct result and vestige of the city's pattern and practice of discrimination against black firefighter candidates - is responsible for making blacks significantly less likely to apply to become New York City firefighters in the absence of a formal recruitment program," Judge Nicholas Garaufis said.


The judge also praised the city's efforts to ensure record number of minority applicants for the upcoming firefighter exam.


Fire officials said the black population comprises 48 percent of total registered candidate for the next test, as compared to 26 percent blacks who took the 2007 test.


But Garaufis called on the administration to ensure a concrete remedy for integration of blacks into the society.


"We respectfully disagree with some of the court's findings and are continuing to study this lengthy 81-page decision," a top city lawyer Georgia Pestana said.


Former human resources commissioner Sherry Kavaler provided the most controversial testimony that white candidates with troubled pasts benefit from the influence of family connections in the screening process.


"You would have lieutenants and captains [contacting] the chief of department: This is the son of so and so ... He's a good guy. He beat his wife but his wife took him back so he shouldn't be considered a wife beater. You're dealing with a lot of Irishmen who are drunks and they get into bar fights ... This is boys being boys, that type of thing," Kavaler said. (ANI)


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