A federal court jury recently awarded $800,000 to a white police officer, finding that the city of Cleveland racially discriminated against him after he shot a black youth in a 2001 arrest attempt.
The officer was guarding a residence when a 12-year-old drove up at high speed and nearly ran into the officer’s cruiser. The officer ended up on top of the car as it sped away. As the driver swerved to knock him off, the officer shot through the windshield, wounding the youth.
During its investigation, the city put the officer on police gymnasium duty for 652 days. The officer contended the detail was punitive and lasted longer than any given to black officers involved in other shootings. He said Cleveland was using him as a scapegoat for several incidents in which white officers shot black suspects.
And that’s not the end of the story: Two more white officers have filed a $2 million lawsuit alleging that Cleveland wrongly punished them because of their race for justifiably shooting a black victim.