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Sergeant who alleged ridicule over genetic test settles case

July 31, 2018

HASTINGS, Mich. (AP) — A police sergeant who says he was ridiculed on the job in western Michigan after a genetic test showed he was part black has settled a lawsuit over his treatment for $65,000.

The agreement obtained by The Grand Rapids Press using Freedom of Information Act request says Hastings police Sgt. Cleon Brown will be on paid administrative leave until Oct. 31, when he’ll resign.

After the Ancestry.com test, Brown says he was subjected to racial taunts including someone placing a black Santa Claus figurine in his Christmas stocking at the police station and officers whispering “Black Lives Matter.”

City Manager Jeff Mansfield says the settlement allows Hastings “to focus its efforts and resources on more productive endeavors.”

The city earlier said Brown started the trouble by joking about the results.

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Information from: The Grand Rapids Press, http://www.mlive.com/grand-rapids

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