On April 30, 1999, Bomani Tyehimba, an African-American male, filed a lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio alleging that he was subjected to a racially discriminatory stop, search and detention by officers of the Cincinnati Police Department [CPD]. That suit was initially styled Tyehimba v. City of Cincinnati, (99-cv-00317-SJD-MRM). Tyehimba was represented by private counsel and counsel the ACLU.
On December 13, 2000, Tyehimba moved for leave to amend his complaint. The District Court (Judge Susan J. Dlott) granted him leave. Instead of filing an amended complaint, Tyehimba filed another motion for leave to amend the complaint on March 14, 2000. He also filed a motion to certify the case as a class action, a motion for a preliminary injunction and a proposed joint litigation plan, and a request for a status conference.
The proposed amended complaint added two local civil rights organizations as plaintiffs: Friends of Cincinnati Black United Front ("CBUF") and the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio Foundation, Inc. ("ACLU"). The amended complaint alleged a thirty-year pattern and practice of racial profiling and discriminatory law enforcement against African-Americans by the CPD. Plaintiffs sought injunctive and monetary relief, as well as class certification. The class action certification was granted.
The District Court held a status conference on March 21, 2001. The parties advised the District Court of their interest in establishing a collaborative procedure to address the issues raised by plaintiffs' proposed amended complaint. All discovery and motion practice was then stayed by the District Court as the parties continued settlement talks.
On April 7, 2001, CPD officers shot and killed Timothy Thomas, a young Black man. The shooting sparked three days of riots in Cincinnati, causing the mayor to declare a state of emergency and decree a dawn to dusk curfew.
On April 12, 2001, the parties entered into a Collaborative Settlement Agreement (also referred to as the "Agreement" or "Collaborative Agreement"). The Collaborative Agreement was the product of a joint fact finding mission and structured conflict resolution process which had as its goal that the parties would work together to develop agreed upon reforms to the CPD. The ACLU, the CBUF, the City, the CPD, the designated lead counsel for the putative plaintiff class, and the local Fraternal Order of Police [FOP] participated in the process. The Collaborative Agreement was submitted to the District Court for approval.
Also on April 12, 2001, the U.S. Department of Justice entered into a Memorandum of Agreement [MOA] with the CPD, resolving the DOJ's separate investigation of the CPD. See PP-OH-2 of this collection for the MOA.
On May 3, 2001, the District Court issued an order establishing a collaborative procedure to be utilized by the parties. Tyehimba v. City of Cincinnati, 2001 WL 1842470 (S.D.Ohio May 3, 2001). The District Court appointed Dr Jay Rothman and the ARIA Group, Inc. to manage the collaborative procedure. The District Court also issued an order tolling all action in several other civil rights cases against the CPD that were pending before the court.
On February 19, 2002, the District Court entered a protective order governing the parties' negotiations under the Court's order establishing the collaborative procedure. On April 19, 2002, the District Court granted the motion to certify provisionally the class and to approve the Collaborative Agreement subject to a fairness hearing. Class notifications were approved and a fairness hearing was held on June 6, 2002.
On August 5, 2002, the District Court granted the parties' joint motion for class certification and approved the Collaborative Agreement, thereby settling all claims. In re Cincinnati Policing, 209 F.R.D. 395 (S.D.Ohio 2002). By separate order, the District Court appointed Saul Green as Monitor and Richard Jerome as Deputy Monitor to oversee the reform implementation process.
The Collaborative Agreement called for the following: implementation of Community Problem Oriented Policing ("CPOP"), the establishment of the Citizen Complaint Authority, the creation of an extensive data collection system to track police activity and incorporation of all of the terms of the MOA entered into by the DOJ and the CPD. By the terms of the Collaborative Agreement, pending individual damage claims of numerous plaintiffs who alleged excessive force by officers of CPD were tolled.
On April 7, 2003, the District Court granted CBUF's motion to withdraw as class representative, finding that the ACLU would continue to adequately represent the class.
On May 21, 2003, individual plaintiffs and representatives of the CPD entered into a Collaborative Agreement Global Damage Claims Settlement, to resolve the pending individual damage claims of numerous plaintiffs that were tolled by the Collaborative Agreement. The District Court approved the settlement and granted the parties' joint motion to establish a qualified settlement fund. Matthew L. Garretson was appointed as the fund administrator. The City paid $4.5 million into the settlement fund to resolve all individual damage claims.
On November 18, 2004, plaintiffs filed a motion for a court order directing the City and the FOP to comply with the terms of the Collaborative Agreement, alleging that the Monitors had been denied access by top CPD officials to police ride alongs and training sessions. The issue was referred to Magistrate Judge Michael R. Merz who conducted an evidentiary hearing on January 24, 2005. He then issued his report and recommendation finding CPD in breach of the Agreement. On March 28, 2005, the District Court adopted the Magistrate's report and recommendation and ordered that as a consequence of CPD's material breach, the Collaborative Agreement was entered as an order of the court. The District Court retained jurisdiction to resolve any further disputes arising from the Agreement.
On August 26, 2008, the parties met for a final hearing and discussed ongoing efforts to improve police-community relationships and the case was closed. Dan Dalton - 01/12/2007
Daniel Fryer - 02/22/2016