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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A lawsuit in the making: How a 1991 ruling set the stage for an ACLU suit last week

Posted By on Wed, Aug 29, 2012 at 1:37 PM

There's a lot of talk going on about the ACLU's lawsuit alleging discriminatory hiring practices at the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police. I have a column about it in today's issue, and the Post-Gazette editorial board opined on it as well.

Here's the thing that has been left out of the discussion so far: None of this is a surprise. Today's dismal hiring rates were set in motion more than 20 years ago, and just about everyone who was paying attention -- including the guy who made it happen -- saw what was coming.

In fact, as spelled out here yesterday, the lack of diversity will almost certainly get worse, because recent recruiting classes are less diverse than the roster of veterans they are being added to. So how did those veterans get on the force in the first place? And why is that no longer happening? That's what we look at below.

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