PITTSBURGH (AP) _ A Pittsburgh police recruit who sued the city alleging discrimination in hiring is no longer facing child abuse charges in connection with spanking of his 6-year-old son.
Allegheny County court records indicate that the misdemeanor charges of simple assault and child endangerment against 35-year-old James Foster were dismissed Friday following a preliminary hearing.
Police said in December that a doctor at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh determined that bruises on the boy’s thigh that were reported by the child’s mother, who does not live with Foster, were due to physical abuse.
Defense attorney Blaine Jones said Foster testified that his son was getting bad reports in school, and he spanked the boy after other forms of discipline failed to change his behavior.
“His entire intentions were to discipline his child to make sure that his child behaved at school,” Jones said.
Foster, who was completing field training, was placed on unpaid administrative leave, a status that remained unchanged, a public safety department spokeswoman said Friday evening.
Jones said he hoped his client could now “get his job back and resume with his dream” of becoming a Pittsburgh officer.
Foster was one of five Black applicants who sued in 2012 with the help of the American Civil Liberties Union, claiming that screening practices resulted in fewer than 4 percent of recruits being Black in a city whose population is 26 percent Black.
The city paid nearly $1.6 million to settle the lawsuit earlier this year, but denied intentional bias. Screening changes resulted in a recruiting class _ including Foster _ that was 25 percent Black.