UCLA Settles a Racial Profiling Claim by a Los Angeles Judge

In November 2013, David S. Cunningham, an African Americans who is a judge for the Los Angeles County Superior Court, was stopped by University of California, Los Angeles police officers. Judge Cunningham, who had just left a gym, claims he was stopped for not wearing a seat belt and later was shoved against his car, handcuffed, and placed in the back of a police cruiser. He filed a $10 million claim against UCLA for excessive force and racial profiling.

Judge Cunningham was prepared to file a federal lawsuit in the case but instead reached a $500,000 settlement with the university. Under the agreement, Judge Cunningham and his legal team will receive $150,000. Another $350,000 will establish a scholarship in the judge’s name that will be administered by the university’s Black Alumni Association. UCLA also agreed to enhanced diversity training for its police officers and to hold a one-day community forum focused on police relations with the community and racial profiling.

Judge Cunningham and the university released a joint statement that read in part, “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.”

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