Canine Officers Lose Case Over Unit Reorganization

     WASHINGTON (CN) – Eight police officers failed to prove they were victims of discrimination when their canine unit was reorganized, the D.C. Circuit ruled.

     Before the reorganization, the officers’ supervisors were concerned that the eight-person squad was alienated from the rest of the department because they worked the midnight shift.
     Their concern grew when they discovered the squad was responsible for 11 of the unit’s 17 dog bites. Seven of the eight officers are white, and all 11 dog-bite victims were black.
     The Metropolitan Police Department reorganized the canine unit from four squads with permanent shifts to five squads with rotating shifts. The eight-man squad sued.
     Judge Ginsburg found that summary judgment for the department was justified, because the officers did not successfully challenge its non-discriminatory reasons for making the schedule changes.
     Ginsburg said the officers would have been better off arguing that they lost money from their shift differential, since they no longer worked the night shift regularly.
     “The officers might have had a compelling case had they argued race was one of multiple motivating factors behind the reorganization, but they did not,” Ginsburg wrote. “Rather, they brought a single-motive case.”

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