HARRISBURG, Pa. (WTAJ) — The Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) announced Wednesday that it has reached a settlement of $865,000 over alleged civil rights violations.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in Marquez filed the civil lawsuit in 2019 on behalf of 10 plaintiffs who alleged civil rights violations surrounding their immigration status and subsequent detention, according to a media release from PSP. The settlement avoids protracted litigation and includes updates and revisions to PSP policy and training, and the contact data reporting for traffic stops.

The payment will go toward each individual plaintiff and related attorney fees.

There have been federal court decisions narrowly interpreting the ability of state and local law enforcement to engage in civil immigration enforcement outside a cooperation agreement since the initiation of the lawsuit, PSP noted. The updates and revisions to policy and training are consistent with the current case law, and it includes the following adaptations:

  • Revisions to Administrative Regulation 7-14, Enforcement of Civil Immigration Law
  • Arrest/Detention or Death of Foreign Nationals (the updated regulation is published on PSP`s public webpage and can be found here) to include updates that are consistent with current case law
  • Mandatory training to ensure enlisted members are familiar with the updated policy and procedure
  • Continuance of PSP’s partnership with the University of Cincinnati to collect contact data reporting for traffic stops. To ensure the most comprehensive data is being captured, multiple updates have been added in the last year. A contact data report is completed by each PSP member after the completion of a traffic stop

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“I am confident these changes to policy and training will ensure the department is in compliance with current case law,” PSP Commissioner Robert Evanchick said. “These positive changes will allow PSP personnel to continue to provide professional, dedicated service while staying up-to-date with changing case law and expectations.”

For more information on PSP, visit their website at psp.pa.gov.