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Greensboro To Settle 3 Of 8 Decade-Old Lawsuits Filed By Police Officers

11:19 PM, Sep 18, 2013   |    comments
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GREENSBORO - The city of Greensboro announced a settlement in three lawsuits claiming the Greensboro Police Department was discriminatory and unfair, Wednesday.

The lawsuits were packed full of accusations the department investigated their own officers just because of their race. The city has spent nearly a decade and more than $2 million defending these suits.

One of the lawsuits that will be settled was filed by nearly 40 current and former police officers. They claim they were victims of racial discrimination.

Former Greensboro police officers Charles Cherry and Joseph Pryor were plaintiffs in that suit but elected not enter into the settlement agreement.

The Fulmore vs. City of Greensboro case will also be settled.

The Greensboro City council voted 6-3 in favor of the settlement, but Mayor Robbie Perkins says they were confident the city would have "prevailed" in the court system.

City council members Zack Matheny, Tony Wilkins and Nancy Vaughan voted against this settlement.

"We are not admitting fault. We are settling a case and moving forward," explained Mayor Perkins. "Obviously a settlement is something that parties have agreed on but we have not agreed that the city has had guilt in this regard."

The settlement for all three cases comes at a cost of $500,000. That money will be split among the plaintiffs but it is unclear at this point how.

"We reached a point where both the plaintiff and the city felt it was appropriate to try to solve the cases. We were ready to go to trial, and as the Mayor pointed out, we felt like we would have prevailed at trial, however what this provides is certainty and it brings us to an end," explained Greensboro City Attorney Mujeeb Shah-Khan.

Shah-Khan added the city chose to settle now, "Because we were presented with an opportunity to resolve it and its one of those decisions where the opportunity presented to us by the plaintiffs, the city felt it was the appropriate thing to do."

A city spokesperson told WFMY News 2 in August that the total amount of money spent on the lawsuits is $2.1 million.

"We recognize there were issues within our department, but those have been resolved," said Perkins on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, August 27, Mayor Perkins called a closed-door session to consult with council and city attorneys about how to proceed with the lawsuits. The lawsuits were scheduled to be on a federal court docket October 7.

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