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City Council approves profiling settlement

CINCINNATI, April 5 (UPI) -- City Council members Friday unanimously ratified the tentative agreement to end a year-old racial profiling lawsuit filed against Cincinnati by black activists and the American Civil Liberties Union.

The Fraternal Order of Police will decide Saturday whether to endorse the settlement. The American Civil Liberties Union, which joined the Cincinnati Black United Front in filing the suit, is scheduled to vote Monday.

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The Black United Front voted Wednesday night to accept the agreement, with only one opposing vote. The Fraternal Order of Police began voting Thursday night. All the parties must agree to the conditions of the deal to settle the lawsuit that accused police of a 30-year pattern of racial profiling and harassment.

The settlement, which mandates the city set up a community-policing program and create a third-party monitor to oversee the department, was filed about a month before a fatal police shooting last year of an unarmed African-American teen triggered three nights of rioting in the Queen City.

Sunday is the first anniversary of the death of 19-year-old Timothy Thomas, the 15th black male to die in police custody since 1995.

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The 60-page proposed settlement incorporates Justice Department recommendations governing police use of force to would improve record keeping on use of force by officers. The current citizen police review panel and Office of Municipal Investigations would be replaced by a new Citizen Complaint Authority.

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