The Baltimore Police Department has agreed to pay $4.5 million and hire a consultant to monitor its internal disciplinary process for the next three years to settle a lawsuit that alleged institutional race discrimination, the Baltimore Sun reports.

Word of the settlement came Monday, as police announced that they had dismissed internal charges against about 40 officers accused of wrongdoing as a result of an unrelated audit. The move returns those officers to the streets, continuing the fallout from the April firing of the department's in-house prosecutor, whom the police union has accused of manipulating documents.

Although the developments were separate, observers say they both relate to claims of unequal treatment of officers, for racial and political reasons.

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