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City of Hastings settles racial discrimination lawsuit against police officer

sgt. cleon brown.jpg

The City of Hastings settled a lawsuit with a police officer, who says he was a victim of racial discrimination.

Hastings police sergeant Cleon Brown says online DNA test results from last year show he's 18 percent African.

Brown says as soon as other officers found out, many stopped talking to him and others joked about it. He says the Hastings police chief even called him a racially-charged name.

Brown sued the city for $500,000 last year. To settle the lawsuit, Hastings will pay Brown $65,000.

He will also be on paid suspension until the end of October. At that point, Brown will be required to resign.

Hastings city manager Jeff Mansfield said, "The city did not believe the lawsuit had merit. But when comparing the settlement to the cost and disruptive effect of defending the case. It was in the city's best interest to resolve the case on the terms in the mediated settlement agreement."

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