Palo Alto to pay $500K in anti-gay bias complaint

Palo Alto City Council members have unanimously approved more than a half-million-dollar payout to a gay Latino man settling a claim of police brutality and homophobia.

The settlement, which the council voted on November 18, was to resolve a federal lawsuit filed by the man, Gustavo Alvarez. Attorney Cody Salfen of the Salfen Law Group filed the suit April 29.

As part of the settlement, the city's police department will have to undergo LGBT sensitivity training, City Manager Ed Shikada stated in a November 20 news release announcing the $572,000 payout to Alvarez.

Retired Palo Alto Police Sergeant Wayne Benitez was also ordered to write a public letter of apology to Alvarez as part of the settlement.

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