UCLA to pay $1/2 mil for racially profiling prominent Superior Court Judge

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UCLA is ready to settle a racial profiling claim by paying $500,000. The claim was brought against the school last year by a prominent Black judge over a traffic stop.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge David S. Cunningham filed a $10 million dollar suit against the school after claiming he had been physically assaulted by the UCLA police in 2013 during a traffic stop on his way home from the gym. Cunningham also claimed that he was detained in the back of a police vehicle because of his race.

Cunningham, a former president of the Los Angeles Police Commission, alleged that he was abused after he was stopped for driving without a seatbelt last November. UCLA police say he was cuffed after refusing to stay in his car.

Under a settlement announced Friday, Cunningham will receive $150,000 and UCLA will establish a $350,000 scholarship fund in his name that will be presented to the UCLA Black Alumni Association.

The school has also agreed to take action by informing the police of how to improve their interactions with the public as to avoid future complications such as this.

UCLA and Cunningham have released a joint statement saying that they “have a mutual desire to use this as an opportunity to deepen understanding, raise the quality of police-community interactions and provide positive outcomes that enhance diversity and opportunity in our community.”

The statement went on to say that, “Both parties are eager to use this as a teachable moment that provides greater insight into important issues, increased educational opportunities and improved relations between law enforcement and the public. This civic-minded agreement serves the best interest of the entire community and settles the matter to the mutual satisfaction of the parties.”

Judge Cunningham’s attorney Carl Douglas also explained why he believed this settlement to be significant stating:

“I am extremely pleased that there is going to be a community day forum focusing on issues of racial profiling. I am extremely pleased that there is going to be retraining of all patrol officers for UCLA. I am extremely pleased that a portion of the settlement is being used for the education of needy students.”

UCLA doesn’t acknowledge any wrongdoing under the settlement.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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