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Boston to pay $2.6 million to three Black cops and a cadet fired after discredited hair tests indicated they were drug users

Lawyers for Civil Rights yesterday announced a $2.6-million settlement in an 18-year legal battle over tests or hair that Boston Police used to use to check for drug use that resulted in numerous false positives for Blacks.

The settlement will be split by three BPD officers and a cadet who were fired after testing of some of their hair purported to show they were using drugs.

The city continued to fight the lawsuit, initially filed by ten people - seven fired officers, a fired cadet, a would-be 911 operator whose application was rejected and an officer who agreed to undergo a drug-treatment program - even after a federal appeals court twice sided with the officers, first ruling in 2014 that the department was particularly targeting Blacks for the test and then ruling, in 2016, that the department kept using the test even after being alerted to more reliable tests.

In 2019, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ordered BPD to put a man repeatedly rejected for a patrolman's slot at the top of its next hiring list because he had proved that the test was too unreliable to really prove he had used cocaine.



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Up South.


But I'm not offended that one was found to have done some blow (even wrongly). Oh, the much better uses for $2.6M than settling a lawsuit.

when the city attorney realizes the very high risk of the case going forward and the jury award to be in multiples of $ 2.6.


But the settlement would have been avoided by not firing the cops.


Would seem like they would share at least some of the liability if the test was unreliable.


If they claimed their test was more reliable than it was, sure, sue them too.

If they disclosed the reliability of their test up front and the city bought it anyway, well, sue for what then?

needs to start farming out these legal cases to a real Law firm. The City is doing a disservice to its residents by having sub par attorneys defending these lawsuits.


Or maybe just, y'know...don't do stupid stuff that gets you sued like that?


That's only $36,000 per year. They would have made 3x that amount.


From Lawers for Civil Rights cited article::

"The City and the testing company also sued each other over who should pay the mounting legal bills, with the City faulting the company for “negligent and wrongful conduct….” As of 2019, the City had paid over $2.1 million to outside counsel attempting to defend the hair test in various court cases."

Meanwhile the Black cops and trainee got pro bono, top law firm representation because righteousness was on their side.

Still not convinced of this further point. "It is also harming public safety by depriving our communities of highly qualified officers"