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The U.S. Supreme Court Monday refused to hear the appeal of a white Cambridge policeman who claimed he was not promoted from patrolman to sergeant because of reverse discrimination.

The decision ends the five-year struggle of Francis J. Burns, still a Cambridge patrolman, to win the promotion he was denied in 1975.

Three Black officers promoted then had scores lower than Burns's on a civil service exam.

Burns could not be reached, and neither City Manager James L. Sullivan nor Police Chief Leo Davenport would comment on the case.

Burns ranked ninth of 110 candidates on the civil service exam. The three Black officers promoted ahead of him ranked 20th, 27th, and 30th.

Burns also alleged that his outspoken activities as a member of the Cambridge Patrolmen's Association, the city's police union, hurt his chances for promotion.

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