SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Twelve white male San Francisco police officers are suing the city, saying they were passed over for promotions because of their race and gender.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports Wednesday that the lawsuit, which was filed Tuesday in federal court, is the latest round in a long-running conflict that dates back decades.

The plaintiffs say the San Francisco Police Department evaluates test scores in a way that allows a candidate's experience and language skills to be considered.

Attorney M. Greg Mullanax said that in 2016, the department promoted three black sergeants who applied, even though their scores were lower than those of 11 white candidates who were denied promotions.

John Coté, a spokesman for City Attorney Dennis Herrera, said the department "uses lawful, merit-based civil service examinations in making promotions."

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Information from: San Francisco Chronicle, http://www.sfgate.com

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