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Ithaca Police Department Heads to Mediation to Resolve Profiling Accusations

Saturday, November, 21, 2015

A judge recently approved an order for mediation to resolve a dispute regarding an Ithaca police incident. The original lawsuit was filed in August by two mothers who claim their black sons were racially profiled by Ithaca police officers when they were on their way home from a sporting event at Cornell University. The original incident took place during the summer of 2014.


The judge ordered the parties to complete mediation sessions by the end of February.


The mediation will take place in an effort to encourage and assist both parties of reaching a resolution. All cases must go through an alternative dispute resolution process before it can advance to trial. The judge is then required to approve whatever resolution was reached during ADR, whether that through mediation or arbitration. In this case, mediation will permit the disputing parties to create their own resolution, instead of relying on an arbitrator to do so for them.

In this lawsuit, each mother is requesting $1 million and names the city of Ithaca, the Ithaca Police Department, and the department’s sergeant as defendants.


The mothers claim the teens had a gun drawn on them and were ordered to the ground and placed in handcuffs. It also alleges the officers involved try to cover up the incident by saying the teens were suspected in an arson that happened nearby earlier in the evening. The police chief ruled the stop legal, but the mothers feel differently. If mediation cannot resolve the issue it will head to court next year.