The City of Miami Beach on Monday agreed to pay Harold Strickland $75,000 to settle a suit that claimed the police department was targeting gay men.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Florida, which represented Strickland in the lawsuit, announced the settlement.

“For years, the ACLU has received reports about two systemic problems with the Miami Beach police: the harassment of gay men in and around Flamingo Park, and the retaliation against persons reporting police misconduct,” said ACLU of Florida LGBT staff attorney Shelbi Day. “We are hopeful that this settlement marks a turning point for the City of Miami Beach in seriously addressing these chronic problems.”

In the suit, the ACLU alleged that in 2009 police officers Frankly Forte and Elliot Hazzi arrested and harassed Strickland, a gay former Miami Beach resident, after the called 911 to report he had witnessed Forte and Hazzi beating a gay man – who lay handcuffed on the ground – in Flamingo Park.

In his 911 call, Strickland said, “And they pushed this guy on the ground, the one cop did, and the other cop came up, as if he was kicking a football and kicked the guy in the head. Just some aggressive behavior going on and I'm not sure it's acceptable, to be honest.” (Listen to the 911 call.)

The officers arrested Strickland for loitering and prowling in the park, charges he pleaded no contest to, but which later were dropped.

The ACLU alleged the arresting officers yelled anti-gay slurs at Strickland as he was being booked, including multiple instances of calling him a “fucking fag.”

The city took the police officers off patrol and assigned each to desk duty as it proceeded with an internal investigation. Last week, the city announced it was firing Forte and Hazzi.

The officers' attorney, Gene Gibbons, said his clients are being “railroaded” by the city.

“The way it's being construed is these two guys are some kind of hate mongrels,” he said. “That's not the case at all.”

The city has also agreed to implement training addressing the harassment of gay men by police officers who patrol Flamingo Park.

“The most important thing to me since that night has been that someone had to be held responsible for what was happening in the city that used to be my home,” Strickland said. “It's sad that it took someone going through what happened to me for the city to start taking this problem seriously, but I'm hopeful that after today's settlement it will never happen to anyone again.”