Atlanta officer's lawsuit alleges race-based promotions

A police officer filed an unusual lawsuit at the federal courthouse in downtown Atlanta.

Lt. Terry Joyner is suing the city of Atlanta as well as his boss, Chief George Turner.

Joyner said beginning in 2008 he was denied the chance to advance at the Buckhead Zone 2 where he worked.

The reason, according to this white supervisor, is because whenever a captain departed from that zone, the slot would be filled by a candidate of the same race. In the case of the Buckhead zone, that slot always went to a black supervisor, according to the legal complaint.

The attorney for Joyner, Mario Williams, said the department would take similar actions in parts of the city where a white supervisor had held a particular slot. A more qualified black candidate would get passed up because the chief wanted to maintain a white captain or major in that slot.

The attorney argues it was an unlawful attempt to maintain diversity at the expense of merit being the factor in promotions.