Last edited: February 14, 2005


Detroit Settles Lawsuit Over Police Sting on Gays

Detroit News, May 16, 2002
615 W. Lafayette, Detroit, MI 48226
Fax: 313-222-6417

By Darren A. Nichols, The Detroit News

DETROIT—The Detroit City Council approved the authorization of a $170,000 settlement over an alleged sting of gay men soliciting sex at Rouge Park.

On behalf of the Triangle Foundation, a gay civil rights group, and six individuals, the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan filed a lawsuit in December in U.S. District Court in Detroit against the Detroit Police Department.

Wednesday’s approval by the council means both sides will appear before Judge Arthur Tarnow to reach a final settlement agreement.

Among the other issues the sides will hash out are changes to two city ordinances. The Triangle Foundation wants to change the annoying person ordinance and would like the city’s solicitation ordinance to be more specific.

"We wanted to do something to really effect change in these actual laws so they were not available as tools to be abused," said Jeffrey Montgomery, executive director of the Triangle Foundation. "The wording in the solicitation ordinance is not very specific, and it’s that lack of specificity that allowed the latitude and abuse of the police to use improperly.

"We’re very positive, and these are great forward steps in this process. (But) it’s ultimately going to be up to the courts."

The lawsuit was filed after the Triangle Foundation had petitioned city officials and the council about gay men being profiled at the park. The Triangle Foundation also accused the Detroit Police Department of entrapping gay men looking for sex.

Detroit police spokesman Officer Robert Carlton said he was unaware of the settlement and unable to comment on it.

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