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The U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit Tuesday alleging that the suburb of Eastpointe, Michigan has kept Black residents from having an equal opportunity to elect city council members of their choice, reports CBS News.

From CBS News:

The lawsuit, which was filed Tuesday in Detroit, says no black candidate has ever served on the Eastpointe City Council and that white voters have consistently opposed and defeated black voters’ preferred black candidates. It seeks a court order that would force Eastpointe to change how its city council is elected. It currently consists of the mayor and four council members who serve staggered four-year terms.

Of the 32,000 people living in Eastpointe in 2010, nearly 10,000 were black, according to the U.S. Census. Current estimates place the city’s black population at closer to 40 percent. Eastpointe’s black voters consistently vote for black city council and school board candidates, however none of them have ever been elected, the lawsuit contends.

…If Eastpointe had four voting districts, the black community is “sufficiently numerous and geographically compact to constitute a majority of the citizen voting-age population in one single-member district,” the lawsuit contends.

City Manager Steve M. Duchane — one of six individuals named in the DOJ lawsuit with Eastpointe Mayor Suzanne Pixley and all four members of City Council — said the claims about racism are “unfair” ahead of a city council meeting discussing the matter on Nov. 17, reports MLive.com.

SOURCE: CBS NewsMLive.com

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