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Texas County Returning Alleged Shakedown Cash

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DALLAS (AP) – Authorities in a Texas county where a drug enforcement program was allegedly used to shake down black and Latino highway travelers are returning more than $100,000 taken during the traffic stops.

The stops in Tenaha near the Louisiana border often resulted in people being forced to hand over cash without any charges being filed. They have led to multiple lawsuits and criminal investigations.

District Attorney Kenneth Florence says Shelby County has dismissed all pending forfeiture cases, even those without a connection to Tenaha.

He says the cases were dismissed in an effort to move on after an agreement was reached in August to settle a class action lawsuit.

The settlement, which has yet to receive a judge’s approval, will require the county to eliminate racial profiling from law enforcement.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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