US

Cincinnati pays $25,000 to settle lawsuit over arrest of wheelchair comic's promoter

FILE - In this June 13, 2012 file photo, Ally Bruener, right, poses for a photograph with friend Forest Thomer at her home in Alexandria, Ky. The comedy promoter, Thomer, who asked people if they wanted to laugh at a “crippled girl” in a wheelchair and then was arrested on a disorderly conduct charge has received $25,000 from the city to settle his federal lawsuit charging violation of his free-speech rights, the man’s attorney said Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2015. The question wasn’t intended to demean Bruener, but to promote her next comedy show and website. (AP Photo/The Cincinnati Enquirer, Cara Owsley, File)  MANDATORY CREDIT; NO SALES

FILE - In this June 13, 2012 file photo, Ally Bruener, right, poses for a photograph with friend Forest Thomer at her home in Alexandria, Ky. The comedy promoter, Thomer, who asked people if they wanted to laugh at a “crippled girl” in a wheelchair and then was arrested on a disorderly conduct charge has received $25,000 from the city to settle his federal lawsuit charging violation of his free-speech rights, the man’s attorney said Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2015. The question wasn’t intended to demean Bruener, but to promote her next comedy show and website. (AP Photo/The Cincinnati Enquirer, Cara Owsley, File) MANDATORY CREDIT; NO SALES  (The Associated Press)

A comedy promoter who asked people in Cincinnati if they wanted to laugh at a woman with muscular dystrophy and then was arrested on a disorderly conduct charge has received $25,000 from the city to settle a federal free-speech lawsuit.

Police charged Cold Spring, Kentucky, resident Forest Thomer (TOH'-mer) after he asked people in 2012 if they wanted to laugh at Alexandria, Kentucky, comedian Ally Bruener (BROO'-nur), who uses a wheelchair. Thomer and Bruener are friends and were promoting her comedy show and website.

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

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

Thomer's attorney says the city could've handled the situation differently.