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Suit From 1969 Pa. Race Riot Settled for $2M

December 6, 2005

YORK, Pa. (AP) _ The children and sisters of a black woman who was killed during race riots in this central Pennsylvania city 36 years ago will share in a $2 million settlement announced Tuesday by York city officials.

The deal would settle the lawsuit that Lillie Belle Allen’s family filed against the city and five former police officers. It also calls for the creation of a memorial to Allen and Henry Schaad, a white city policeman who also was shot to death during 10 days of rioting in the summer of 1969.

``I thank God we’ve finally come to closure,″ said Hattie Dickson of York, one of Allen’s sisters, who joined other family members and city officials at a news conference.

York Mayor John Brenner apologized to Allen’s family.

``We are very sorry for your loss, and I know no monetary settlement and no community dialogue will bring back Lillie Belle Allen,″ he said.

The case had been scheduled to go to trial in April.

Allen, 27, who lived in Aiken, S.C., was visiting relatives when she was killed. Family members were confronted by a mob of white youths when they drove into the city on July 21, 1969. Allen was shot when she got out of the vehicle to take the wheel from her frightened sister.

Her case went unsolved for more than 30 years until prosecutors convened a grand jury and uncovered new evidence.

The wrongful-death lawsuit accused former York Mayor Charlie Robertson, who was a police officer at the time of the shooting, four other former officers, and the city of inciting violence and covering up evidence and identities of those involved.

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