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Former Texas police officer wins discrimination suit

In a well-publicized Texas lawsuit in Orange, an African American police officer charged his employer, the local police department, with discrimination. This occurred three years ago, and both parties have gone back and forth. Now, he feels he has been vindicated, as his discrimination suit has ended in a sizable settlement worth $600,000.

The officer's discrimination claims stem from a 2010 incident in which the officer, a captain, shot and killed another man outside a retail store. At the time, the officer was not on duty. After a thorough investigation, he was acquitted of any criminal actions. Though he was reinstated by the police department by the middle of 2011 after the courts absolved him of culpability, he was then again taken off the force within one month's time.

The officer alleges that the reason he was removed was not the 2010 shooting incident. Rather, he claims it was because of race discrimination due to his African American heritage. The settlement that has been reached will end his fight for justice. Though he would have continued to fight, he agreed to the figure to end the battle.

The $600,000 will be partially paid from monies in the city coffers, and partially paid by a state workers' comp provider. The figure represents a mix of back pay and other costs. As part of the settlement agreement, the officer will never be allowed to work for the Orange police force again. The settlement is purported to be among the largest civil rights discrimination settlements in the history of Texas.

Source: orangeleader.com, City settles lawsuit with Arnold for $600K, Tommy Mann Jr., Nov. 2, 2013

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