A group of black firefighters are suing the city of Jacksonville and their union, alleging that white firefighters illegally had an opportunity to view promotional tests before they were administered.
The black firefighters note that only one black applicant has been promoted based on test results since 2006.
The suit is just the latest in a four-decade clash over racial discrimination issues within the department. Black firefighters originally complained of bias in 1971.
The two sides are currently involved in court-directed mediation to resolve the matter. City officials claim they were surprised by the suit because they thought the negotiations were going well. Whether the charges have merit or are simply a bargaining ploy remains to be seen.