Article, editorial missed the point on ACLU lawsuit

I'm very disappointed in this paper's coverage of the class-action lawsuit settlement with the Glendale Police Department and Glendale Unified School district regarding the Sept. 24, 2010, incident at Hoover High School.

Glendale Education/Social Justice Advocates was approached by families of the students involved shortly after the incident and we worked very hard to achieve satisfaction for the victims of what I consider to be racial profiling and unconstitutional search and confinement.

The organization hosted several meetings with Glendale police and Glendale Unified officials and had email and phone conversations with the county probation officers who also participated in the planning and execution of the ill-advised activity.

We attempted to contact the LAPD Gang Unit that also participated, but they did not respond to our overtures.

We tried to handle it without involving lawyers.

The expertise of the ACLU was required to break down the stonewalling by the defendants. While the four government entities might have had the best of intentions, their methods were inappropriate as I believe the settlement bears out.

The article ("ACLU reaches settlement with Glendale Unified and city on racial profiling claims," Feb. 6.) announcing the settlement with the Glendale Police Department and Glendale Unified did not explain the money awarded was for damages to the students as well as legal expenses.

Online comments on the story make it clear readers missed the point that a client trust fund means the ACLU accepted the damages for subsequent distribution to the plaintiffs.

An editorial (“Settlement is a step in the right direction,” Feb. 8) praising the settlement similarly ignores distribution of the awards.

The cartoon published Saturday, Feb. 16, depicts the ACLU taking the money and implies a second victimization of the students. This is not the case. While the eventual distribution of damages is confidential, it is clear all the money will not be kept by the ACLU.

It's shameful our local newspaper fails to give readers a true picture of important events.

Sharon Weisman

Editor’s note: The writer is a member of the Glendale Education/Social Justice Advocates steering committee.

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