Northeast Ohio suburb settles suit over allegations that officials harassed black tenants

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LAKEWOOD, Ohio — The Cleveland suburb of Lakewood has settled a federal discrimination lawsuit filed by an apartment building ownership group that alleged young black tenants were targeted for harassment and illegal searches by police and city officials.

City council on Monday approved paying $507,500 toward the settlement. The city's insurer will pay an undisclosed amount. Settlement terms are confidential.

The lawsuit originally filed in April 2010 by Hidden Village LLC alleged that city officials opposed plans to move black youth transitioning out of foster care into the apartment buildings and then harassed them and conducted illegal, warrantless searches of their apartments.

Lakewood Mayor Michael Summers said Tuesday that the city continues to deny allegations but added that it was in the city's best interest to settle a potentially costly case.

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