KALAMAZOO (WWJ/AP) – The city of Kalamazoo will pay $130,000 to settle lawsuit filed by an African-American man who says he was falsely arrested and discriminated by a Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety officer.
The Kalamazoo City Commission voted 5-0 Tuesday to authorize the lump-sum payment to Hollis Evans.
Evans, a social worker from Jones, Mich. and an ordained minister, filed the lawsuit in 2011 against Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety officer Gregory Magnan and the city of Kalamazoo in U.S. District Court.
The lawsuit stems from an incident that happened on Aug. 1, 2009 after Evans stopped at a convenience store. As Evans was getting into his car to leave the store’s parking lot, a group of men allegedly approached him and asked if he wanted to buy “some stuff.” Evans reportedly said no and pulled out of the parking lot.
Shortly after, Magnan pulled him over and asked Evans if he had purchased any drugs, which Evans said he had not, the lawsuit states. Evans says Magnan then handcuffed him and searched his car, but found no drugs or paraphernalia, so he was let go.
About two months later, Evans said he received an arrest warrant that informed him he was being charged with possession of cocaine. According to the arrest warrant, Magnan said he saw Evans throw a piece of tissue out of his car that contained crack cocaine. Evans denied throwing anything from the car.
The lawsuit claims that Magnan discriminated against Evans because Evans is an African-American, and that Magnan falsified evidence.
Magnan denies the allegations and remains on the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety’s force.
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