Carmel settles ‘modest’ lawsuit in racial profiling case

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The City of Carmel has agreed to settle a lawsuit alleging racial discrimination by police officers. Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard said the amount was so small at $8,000 that it made sense for the city to settle the suit on March 8.

Carl Cooper, an Indianapolis resident, was driving through Carmel in October 2013 when he was pulled over by police because his vehicle was identified on the national crime database as stolen.

Cooper was pulled over at a McDonald’s and was handcuffed, according to the Dec. 2014 lawsuit. Cooper said multiple officers drew weapons and pointed them at him.

Brainard said it wasn’t a case of racial profiling but rather an honest mistake caused by an error in the crime database. The police were able to discover the error while at the fast food restaurant and Cooper was released. Brainard said the officers apologized for the inconvenience and Cooper was sent on his way without any other actions.

Brainard said the $8,000 falls under the “modest” amount that City Attorney Doug Haney can offer without needing approval from the Carmel City Council.

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