19 drop out of police discrimination suit

Nov. 30, 2011 at 8:15 AM
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 30 (UPI) -- A court in the District of Columbia has granted a motion to voluntarily dismiss 19 plaintiffs from a decade-old discrimination suit against U.S. Capitol Police.

The move by the U.S. District Court leaves 285 plaintiffs in a case that has dragged on for years as it focused on the plaintiffs' standing rather than the merit of their claims, Roll Call reported Wednesday.

The lawsuit was originally filed in 2001 with now-retired Capitol Police Lt. Sharon Blackmon-Malloy as the lead plaintiff. It argued that more than 200 black officers were denied promotions, retaliated against, unfairly disciplined or fired because of their race.

Blackmon-Malloy said she did not see the voluntary withdrawal of the 19 plaintiffs as a setback.

"It has always been our hope that everyone would remain in the proposed class action lawsuit," she told Roll Call. "However, we support the plaintiffs who have elected to be dismissed from the case."

A hearing on the case is expected before the end of December or early next year.

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