The plaintiffs are 22 Hispanic or black troopers who claim they were denied promotions above the rank of sergeant because of their race and despite “exemplary qualifications,” and one officer, Capt. Amalio Nieves, who claims he was subjected to harassment and other retaliation for complaining about the process and attempting to change it.

The suit, Ayala, et al. v. Department of Law and Public Safety, filed Tuesday in Middlesex County Superior Court, alleges violations of the state Law Against Discrimination and the Conscientious Employee Protection Act.

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