In the federal suit filed Monday against Detroit, the police department and Police Chief Ella Bully-Cummings, the 12-year veteran claimed he was passed over repeatedly for promotion and demoted to lieutenant "solely on the basis of race," the Detroit News reported.
Attorneys said Schwartz was demoted after the city settled a suit with Gerald Cliff, who claimed that black officers were promoted ahead of whites. Cliff, now police chief of Saginaw, Mich., and Detroit reached an undisclosed settlement in March.
"They promoted (Schwartz) to deputy chief in an effort to help them in the Cliff case to show they were not basing the promotions on race and then demoted him when they didn't need him," said attorney Joel Sklar.
The suit seeks more than $75,000 in damages and restoring Schwartz as deputy chief.
A police spokesman declined comment on the suit before federal Judge Victoria Roberts.