The U.S. Justice Department said it has ordered Los Angeles County and two
cities to pay $12.5 million to residents who were victims of harassment.
The department accused Antelope Valley authorities of systematically discriminating against African Americans who received low-income subsidized housing, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Sheriff's deputies searched homes unlawfully, used unreasonable force and improperly detained victims, the Justice Department alleged.
Assistant County Counsel Roger Granbo said the money would come from the cities of Lancaster and Palmdale, the county's Housing Authority and the Sheriff's Department. The funds would go to the victims.
Granbo said he has already told federal officials that the county has no intention of paying its share, and Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris also said his city would refuse to pay.
"If the county wants to pay millions, let them do it, but Lancaster isn't going to pay 10 cents of it," Parris said.
County and city representatives will meet with federal officials to negotiate the payment, the Times said.
If the talks fail, the two sides could end up in court.
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