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Wed Apr 29, 2015, 10:29 AM

U.S. reaches anti-bias accord with Los Angeles County sheriff

Source: Reuters

US | Wed Apr 29, 2015 5:16am EDT

U.S. reaches anti-bias accord with Los Angeles County sheriff

LOS ANGELES | BY DAINA BETH SOLOMON

(Reuters) - The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved an accord on Tuesday with the U.S. Justice Department to settle findings that the country's largest sheriff's department systematically harassed and intimidated low-income minority residents.

The settlement follows a scathing report on Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office abuses cited by the Justice Department in 2013, capping a two-year probe of policing practices in the Antelope Valley, an area of Mojave Desert communities north of Los Angeles.

The report concluded that county sheriff's deputies, along with authorities in the towns of Lancaster and Palmdale, routinely targeted blacks and Hispanics in a "pattern and practice" of unlawful traffic stops, raids and excessive force.

In particular, the report accused the sheriff and county housing agency investigators of waging a discriminatory campaign of surprise inspections and other actions against African-Americans living in federally funded Section 8 affordable-housing units in the area.

As part of the agreement, the county must pay $25,000 in penalties plus up to $700,000 in restitution to people who can prove they were targeted, Supervisor Michael Antonovich said in a statement. Claimants may receive up to $20,000 each.

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Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/04/29/us-usa-police-losangeles-idUSKBN0NK03K20150429

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