Ohio city settles lawsuit by wheelchair comic’s promoter

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CINCINNATI (AP) — A man arrested on a disorderly conduct charge after asking people in a promotion if they wanted to laugh at a "crippled girl" has received $25,000 from the city of Cincinnati to settle a federal free-speech lawsuit.

Cincinnati police charged Forest Thomer (TOH’-mer), of Cold Spring, Kentucky, after he asked people in 2012 if they wanted to laugh at comedian Ally Bruener (BROO’-nur), who uses a wheelchair. The two friends were promoting the Alexandria, Kentucky, woman’s comedy show and website. She has muscular dystrophy.

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Thomer recorded people saying: "I laughed at the crippled girl." The public’s comments were posted on Bruener’s website.

A message was left for city attorneys Wednesday. The city didn’t admit any liability in the settlement paid Tuesday.

Thomer’s attorney says the city could have handled the 2012 situation differently.