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St. Louis Post-Dispatch: St. Louis police group ESOP sues city over promotion list delays

ST. LOUIS — Leaders of the Ethical Society of Police filed suit against the city of St. Louis, accusing it of breaking its own rules and hurting Black officers by maintaining the same rank promotion lists for more than four years.

The suit was filed Wednesday on behalf of ESOP president Sgt. Donnell Walters and treasurer Lt. Cheryl Orange. ESOP is a long-standing St. Louis police group that advocates for racial equity and represents many minority city police officers.

At issue in the suit are promotion tests overseen by the St. Louis Department of Personnel.

The tests are used to create lists ranking the most eligible candidates into groups that police command staff use to make promotions up the ranks.

Under city civil service rules, lists for promotion are set to expire after two years unless extended. But the same list for promotions from sergeant to lieutenant and from lieutenant to captain has remained in place for more than four and a half years, since June 2017, according to the suit.