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3 Pittsburgh police officers pay $100,000 to settle Ross man's civil rights lawsuit

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Wednesday, July 24, 2013, 12:21 p.m.

Three Pittsburgh police officers have paid $100,000 to settle a Ross man's civil rights lawsuit over a September 2006 traffic stop, the man's lawyer said Wednesday.

Jeff Collins, 38, claimed that officers Benjamin Freeman, Stephen Shanahan and Francesco Rosato assaulted him after he tried to call 911 to confirm the plainclothes officers in an unmarked vehicle were actually police. Collins was driving his motorcycle on Fifth Avenue in Oakland when the officers stopped him.

Collins originally included former police Chief Nathan Harper and the city in the lawsuit, but agreed to drop them in return for the city's agreement to cover any damages awarded in the case.

Margaret Coleman, Collins' attorney, said this is just one of several stops by plainclothes police that have ended badly.

“I think there may be something wrong with the way these stops are initiated,” she said.

Bryan Campbell, the lawyer for the officers, and city Solicitor Dan Regan couldn't be reached for comment.

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