City settles lawsuit with realtor, buyer detained at home showing

Published: Jul. 18, 2019 at 5:27 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI, Ohio (FOX19) - The city of Cincinnati apologized Thursday and announced taxpayers will pay $151,000 to settle a lawsuit from a realtor and prospective buyer who said they were illegally detained at a home showing after a retired city police officer called 911 to report a break-in.

The swift settlement comes just three days after it was filed in federal court and just hours before the case hits the national spotlight on “Inside Edition” Thursday night.

Lawsuit: Realtor, prospective homebuyer illegally detained by police after retired cop calls 911

“The city regrets this extremely unfortunate and unnecessary situation,” City Manager Patrick Duhaney said in a prepared statement Thursday.

"Mr. Isham and Mr. Edwards did nothing wrong. We have reached a settlement in the amount of $151,000 that includes voluntary training with police and the Board of Realtors. Further, we are in the process of implementing implicit bias training for all city employees. We sincerely apologize.”

The attorney for the men, Chris Finney, said: “We are pleased that the City recognized its mistake, resolved the claims of the plaintiffs and will engage in training of CPD to assure Constitutional limitations are respected."

“We hope to use this experience to build bridges and understanding. I especially want to thank Mayor Cranley for the leadership he exhibited in this matter.”

Each plaintiff, the realtor, Jerry Isham, and the home buyer, Anthony Edwards, will each receive $75,500, Finney said.

The settlement also includes the city holding a panel discussion about the issues raised in the case with police and the Greater Cincinnati Board of Realtors and the Greater Cincinnati Realtists Association, he said.

Sgt. Dan Hils, president of the union that represents Cincinnati police, criticized the settlement, saying it “sets a bad precedent.”

Earlier this year, a city lawyer offered a settlement of $20,000 each for Isham and Edwards; $23,000 for legal fees and a total of $7,000 in statutory fine per incident of police public record destruction ($1,000 per each instance) related to body camera and cruiser camera footage of the encounter, emails show.

“What this tells me," Hils said, "is if you have an encounter with police and you make it public, your settlement goes up.”

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