Five men have settled with the city of San Jose who were discriminated against when police arrested them in targeted undercover sting operations.
The City Council approved a $125,000 payment to each of the men to avoid a federal lawsuit filed in November 2017. Between 2014 and 2015 undercover police arrested six men on misdemeanor lewd-conduct charges at Columbus Park.
However, a judge dismissed the charges against all the men after determining the police had violated their equal protection rights by selectively discriminating the men involved. Five of the men filed a federal lawsuit last year.
Bruce Nickerson, who is an LGBT rights attorney who said he as “extraordinarily pleased” with the settlement and praised the City Attorney’s Office and the police department for their quick response to the lawsuit.
“I want to give them full credit for their response,” Nickerson said. “They were good faith personified.”
As part of the settlement, the city must abide by several conditions.
The Mercury News reports:
Under the settlement, the city must also meet a Nov. 12 deadline to provide Nickerson with a five-year list of “individuals other than the Plaintiffs, who were arrested by the San Jose Police Department, pursuant to ‘sting” (undercover) operations” that lead to similar charges as the plaintiffs. The city is also required to cooperate with Nickerson’s request with the Santa Clara County Superior Court “to discover information about factually similar arrests by the SJPD during the last five years.”
“They’re going to continue to search the database for past cases and clients who would have been class members,” he said. “We may be able to resurrect those cases.”