The city of Miami has won an important skirmish in its 20-year battle with the Fraternal Order of Police over promotion practices at the Police Department, and the victory could save taxpayers more than $8 million.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta ruled last week that a Miami federal judge was right when he declared certain employment practices at the Police Department discriminatory, but he was wrong in ordering the city to pay about $9 million to remedy the discrimination. The judgment, a three-judge panel said, was punitive, not compensatory.

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