State appeals court restores jobs of 6 Boston officers

BOSTON (AP) — The Massachusetts Appeals Court has given another legal victory to six black Boston police officers who said they were fired over unreliable drug testing methods.

The court said the officers must be reinstated with back bay and benefits. The appeals court ruling upheld decisions by the state’s Civil Service Commission and Superior Court.

The officers were fired between 2001 and 2006 after testing positive for cocaine using a controversial hair test. The officers challenged the results, saying the testing method is unreliable and positive tests are more likely with African-American hair.

The court agreed, writing that a positive test is “not necessarily conclusive of ingestion.”

The court’s decision upheld the termination of four other officers who tested positive for drugs.

A police spokesman says department lawyers are reviewing the decision.

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