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Racine funeral home operator claims racial discrimination

RACINE, Wis. (AP) — An African-American funeral home operator is accusing Racine city officials of discrimination for denying him permission to operate.

In a federal lawsuit, J.C. Frazier and Northwest Funeral Chapel Inc. claim the city’s plan commission in 2012 approved a permit that would allow him to move his existing Racine funeral home to the former Woman’s Club.

According to the lawsuit, the Common Council voted no, but less than two months later, a white-owned funeral business bought The Woman’s Club site and began operating a funeral home there.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports the suit claims the city violated Frazier and Northwest Funeral Chapel’s equal protection rights.

The suit seeks damages of at least $335,000.

Mayor John Dickert said Monday that city officials had not seen the lawsuit and could not comment.

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