Settlement reached in Tenaha shakedown lawsuit

DALLAS (AP) - Officials of a small East Texas town and the county where it's situated have agreed to steps aimed at ending racial profiling to settle a four-year-old class-action lawsuit.
Federal court filings late Friday show Tenaha and Shelby County have agreed to an "impartial policing policy" to better document and monitor traffic stops. The documents show defendants also have agreed to pay $520,000 in legal fees.
The lawsuit accused former officials of shaking down innocent motorists.
Former Shelby County District Attorney Lynda Kaye Russell and four other ex-law enforcement officials were named as defendants when the suit was filed.
The suit alleged that the officials forced motorists, most of them black, to forfeit their cash or face criminal charges.
Tenaha is a town of 1,160 residents near the Louisiana border.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)