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Harvard prof settles civil rights lawsuit

Oct. 13, 2011 at 2:28 PM

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Oct. 13 (UPI) -- Prominent Harvard neuroscientist S. Allen Counter has settled a civil rights lawsuit against the Cambridge Police Department over his 2006 arrest, he said.

Counter, 61, director of the Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations, told the Bay State Banner in an interview that his federal suit had been resolved for an undisclosed sum. Five years ago, Counter was arrested by a Cambridge police officer on the sidewalk outside his house when his former wife charged he had pushed their teenage daughter from a moving car.

Counter denied the allegation and was taken to Cambridge Hospital after collapsing at the police station. He was acquitted of domestic battery in Cambridge District Court.

"The case has been settled," Counter told the newspaper last week, saying a confidentiality agreement prohibited him from discussing the matter further. "I am satisfied."

In 2009, Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates, a historian and expert on African and African-American culture, was arrested when an officer asked him to step outside his Cambridge home near Harvard Square. The incident led to the "beer summit" hosted by President Obama at the White House between Gates and Sgt. James Crowley.

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