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NAACP Plans Legal Action On Behalf Of Lower Merion Police Officer

LOWER MERION, Pa. (CBS) - The Lower Merion police department is the target of legal action filed by an African-American police officer who claims he wasn't promoted because of his race.

Representatives of the NAACP say they are standing behind veteran officer Kerry Godbold, whom they say was passed over by the department in his bid to become a sergeant earlier this year.

Jerome Mondesire, president of the Pennsylvania State Conference of the NAACP, says a discrimination complaint has been filed with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission.

"There are 135 police officers in the Lower Merion police department, only three are African-American," Mondesire charges.  "No African-American has ever been promoted to the upper ranks of the Lower Merion police department," he adds.  "We just find that outrageous."

Mondesire says the complaint will take about six months to go through the commission, and they expect the officer will get a right-to-sue letter allowing him to file suit against the township.

Meanwhile, Mondesire says, they've been watching other suburban police departments to see if they are discriminating against minority cops.

Reported by Brad Segall, KYW Newsradio 1060

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