CINCINNATI, Aug. 5 (UPI) -- A federal judge Monday approved the settlement of a racial profiling lawsuit, filed days before the shooting of a black man by a white Cincinnati police officer touched off three days of rioting.
U.S. District Judge Susan Dlott issued a 16-page ruling accepting the deal negotiated by city officials, the police union, black activists and civil libertarians. The deal requires police and the community to work together to reduce crime and ease tensions.
Dlott said the plaintiffs and police have the same goal: "Assuring efficient and effective policing for all citizens, regardless of race, in an atmosphere of mutual respect."
The city already is logging traffic stops to make sure motorists are not being stopped simply because they are black.
The City Council unanimously approved a tentative agreement to end the year-old racial profiling suit in April.
The suit was filed in March 2001 before the fatal shooting of unarmed 19-year-old Timothy Thomas on April 7 triggered three nights of racial rioting, a dusk-to-dawn curfew and a state of emergency in the Queen City.
A recent survey by the Police Executive Research Forum found most police executives do not believe racial profiling is a serious problem but significant percentages said they have implemented programs or had discussions discouraging the practice.
The agreement comes as a measure dealing with the issue stalled in Congress in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Both President George W. Bush and Attorney General John Ashcroft have vowed to end racial profiling by police agencies.