Saturday, July 12, 2014

Judge Arrested by Campus Police for Driving While Black Gets Payout from UCLA

Blog readers will know of the sad tale of Judge Cunningham who made the mistake of driving while black in Westwood and was arrested by campus police.  (Yes, in Westwood, not on campus.)  Anyway, you will also recall that UCLA asserted after a self-investigation that nothing wrong had been done.  But now, the tune seems to have changed:

From the Daily Bruin: A Los Angeles Superior Court judge reached a settlement with the University of California over a $10 million claim for damages he filed against university police in February in which he said two UCPD officers used excessive force after stopping him in Westwood for a seatbelt violation.
The settlement includes a $150,000 payment to Judge David S. Cunningham III and his counsel, and the setup of a $350,000 scholarship fund called “The David S. Cunningham III Scholarship for Civil Rights” for undergraduate and law students, according to a statement by the university and Cunningham’s lawyer released on Friday. The fund will be administered by the UCLA Black Alumni Association.
As part of the agreement, UCPD must also hold continued trainings for officers on issues such as “understanding diversity, bias, public engagement and use of force.”
Cunningham filed an excessive force complaint in November after being pulled over by two UCPD officers, Kevin Dodd and James Kim, who allegedly shoved Cunningham against the side of his car, handcuffed him and put him in the back of their patrol car for not wearing a seatbelt...  [The article also has a link to part of the settlement agreement.]

Full story at

From the LA Times: ...In a joint statement released Friday, UCLA and Cunningham said they "have a mutual desire to use this as an opportunity to deepen understanding, raise the quality of police-community interactions and provide positive outcomes that enhance diversity and opportunity in our community."

"Both parties are eager to use this as a teachable moment that provides greater insight into important issues, increased educational opportunities and improved relations between law enforcement and the public," the statement said. "This civic-minded agreement serves the best interest of the entire community and settles the matter to the mutual satisfaction of the parties." ...
The $150,000 Cunningham and his attorney will receive comes from UC's self-insured risk program, and the scholarship money will come from other campus sources, [university] officials said.

Full story at 

Note: Don't think that because the $150,000 comes from the "self-insured risk program" it is costless.  Self insured means UCLA is paying for it.  As for the scholarship, it is unclear what "other campus sources" means but, again, money has to come from somewhere.

Previous references to this matter are at:

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