County accused of bias in hiring officers settles suit

TOWSON, Md. (AP) — Maryland’s Baltimore County has reached a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice in a lawsuit that accused the county’s police force of discriminatory hiring practices against Black applicants.

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski announced the deal Wednesday. He says the agreement “will help hold Baltimore County accountable” as it works to increase diversity in the Baltimore County Police Department.

The lawsuit claimed the county’s use of written exams led to hiring fewer Black officers than it would have had if it used a “non-discriminatory screening device.”

The county has agreed to provide $2 million in back pay to eligible claimants and make 20 priority hires for Black applicants who previously took and failed the exams.

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